Apprentice scheme boosts young people’s career paths

Pendleside Hospice is to expand its apprenticeship scheme again in the Spring and hopes it will continue to grow and prosper after the success it has achieved so far.

The recent partnership agreement with UCLan will see Pendleside appoint a trainee assistant practitioner in April, and the news will help celebrate national Apprenticeship Week which runs from February 3 to 9.

Helen McVey, chief executive at Pendleside, said: “We recognise the importance of apprenticeships as a means of training up our future workforce and giving something back to our local community by supporting people on their career pathway.

“We launched our apprentice scheme in 2014 by initially taking on a health care apprentice. Our first apprentice, Carrice Dickinson, was awarded the Themis Inspire and Achieve Award and was highly commended at the Burnley Business Awards.

“Since then our second health care apprentice, Megan Pritchard, was awarded student of the year at Accrington and Rossendale College and has gone on to study for a three-year Adult Nursing degree at the University of Salford.

“In the meantime, we took on a business admin apprentice, Amy McFadden, and again further expanded the scheme last year by appointing our digital marketing apprentice, Bethany Wright. And in April this year we will be taking on the trainee assistant practitioner.”

Amy, 21, a former student at Burnley College, took up a permanent position on reception and in clinical admin at the hospice after completing her level 3 Business Administration apprenticeship last year and is now undertaking level 4.

She said: “Joining the staff at Pendleside was the best thing I ever did. I love every minute here because it’s such an amazing place. It’s nothing like I imagined. I have learned so much dealing with patients and their families.”

Bethany, who is studying under Themis Project Digital in conjunction with +24 Marketing, said: “Working with my colleagues at Pendleside has given me an insight into the marketing of a fantastic brand that I would not have achieved by sitting in a classroom. The on-the-job training along with my college work will give me an all-round appreciation of what is demanded of me in the career I am keen to follow”.

And degree student Megan added: “I started my apprenticeship on the day services unit which taught me so many different things, but mostly how lucky I was! Some of the patients I worked with had such an impact on me that I will remember them forever.

“Working at Pendleside also reminded me to love and care for my close family and friends because you just don’t know what is around the corner. I have taken the experiences I gained at Pendleside with me to university and they have given me so much enthusiasm and confidence to qualify as a nurse.”