The apprenticeships, which last one or two years, offer a great opportunity for local young people to learn from experienced of hospice staff.
“Being part of the local business community is important for us and supporting young people to gain the skills and qualifications they need to get into work is a real priority for the whole community,” explained St Elizabeth Hospice’s HR business partner, Christine Elmy.
“We are really proud that we are able to contribute in a small way through our apprenticeship scheme and are extremely pleased that we have been able to offer all of our apprentices a permanent position here at the hospice.”
The scheme has seen the hospice offer apprenticeships within its IT, administration, income generation and maintenance departments and it is currently looking to recruit a customer service apprentice within its retail department.
Apprentices employed by the hospice are paid a wage and work alongside experienced staff to gain job-specific skills while also receiving training from the local college to work towards nationally recognised qualifications.
Job descriptions are designed to give apprentices a variety of experience and they spend time working across the whole hospice. They are supported by their college assessor and a mentor at the hospice, who also help ensure that all training needs are achievable and met within the deadlines.
Previous apprentices Jonathan Goldsmith, Darryl Frost and Megan Johnson are now employed at the hospice as an information assistant, IT assistant and trainee fundraiser.
The hospice’s most recent apprentice, Sean Buckner, is now a maintenance technician at the hospice.
Over the two years of his apprenticeship, Sean studied at Suffolk New College learning skills in building maintenance, multi-trader repair and refurbishment in construction.
Andrew Bruce, facilities and health and safety manager at the hospice, commented: “Sean has proved himself to be an asset in the provision of hospice care. His cheerful personality and can-do attitude are a great benefit to the facilities team.”
While the scheme requires a great investment of staff time, the hospice feels that this investment if well worth it.
“It’s great to have young people around. They’ve all been very friendly, helpful and eager to support colleagues, volunteers and patients when needed. They’re assets to the organisation.”