7 March 2019 - Ambulance Service Praised by Minister for Apprenticeships Apprentices at North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) met with Rt Hon Anne Milton MP, Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills and Chris Green MP for Bolton West and Atherton on Monday as the trust is named one of the top performing apprenticeship employers in the country. Currently employing 272 apprentices in a wide range of roles including frontline emergency medical technicians as well as ICT, finance, communications and fleet mechanics, the trust was thanked for its commitments, enthusiasm and drive for apprenticeships. The ambulance service changed the way it provides training to apprentices in May 2017 when it became an employer provider meaning it was able to deliver its first regulated qualification in-house. In her first visit to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, Anne Milton MP met with apprentices from different areas of the trust and expressed the benefits of offering these learning opportunities to further grow a skilled workforce. Damian Hutton, Emergency Medical Technician 1 in Manchester said: “I have now completed my apprenticeship and it’s given me opportunities that I never would have had otherwise. “I was never interested in learning when I was younger but now have a nationally recognised qualification and have used this to progress onto further training to become a paramedic.” Currently, 251 apprentices are enrolled onto the Level 4 Associate Ambulance Practitioner (AAP) apprenticeship, to become emergency medical technicians with 31 fully completed the course since May 2017. Apprentices are given 18 weeks of classroom and driver training before heading out on the road to gain hands-on experience working on an emergency ambulance whilst completing the remainder of the 12 to 18 month apprenticeship. Successful AAP apprentices are employed by the trust as emergency medical technician 1s. Government reforms have meant that the trust has been able to benefit from using the apprenticeship levy to invest in training apprentices. Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week, NWAS will be showcasing ‘a week in the life of’ a number of apprentices and featuring them on their social media pages across the week. Carol Offer, Assistant Director of Workforce and Development at NWAS said: “We are extremely proud of our apprentices who are really proving to us the value that they can bring to the organisation through their skills and drive for learning. “By embracing government changes, we have been able to invest further into learning opportunities for our workforce widening the depth of skills they have and ultimately improving the level of care we give to our patients. “Not just on the frontline, we have been able to offer apprenticeships within our corporate services too by linking in with relevant learning providers. This allows us to target a younger workforce and take advantage of junior positions with the hope that apprentices will go on to build a career within the organisation.” Apprentices in other areas of the trust include fleet, learning and development and HR. Apprenticeships and Skills Minister, Anne Milton said: “I was thrilled to kick off National Apprenticeship Week 2019 with a visit to the North West Ambulance Service, to meet apprentices who help deliver urgent and emergency health care across their region. “The apprentices I met are trained to deliver the right care, at the right time, in the right place – giving them an excellent foundation to progress in their careers, whilst making a huge difference to the lives of others. “Apprenticeships in the North West Ambulance Service are available in a number of different roles including paramedics, call handlers and urgent care assistants – all of which can lead to rewarding and fulfilling careers “Well done to all at North West Ambulance Service!” NWAS is now looking to expand its in-house apprenticeships and is working with ambulance services across the country to develop further apprenticeship opportunities for the ambulance workforce. All NWAS vacancies are advertised on NHS Jobs, www.jobs.nhs.uk.