Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust has become the first organisation in the country to sign up to UNISON’s apprenticeship charter.
The charter ensures that apprenticeships deliver a positive outcome for both apprentices and employers. The charter commits the Trust to provide apprenticeships that are well-funded, high quality and that lead to a meaningful job.
Apprentices will receive the correct rate for the job they are doing, high quality training, and a safe and healthy working environment.
UNISON assistant general secretary Christina McAnea – who was in Southport to sign the charter – said: “We are delighted the Trust has decided to sign up our charter, publicly signalling its commitment to structured learning.
“The contribution of apprentices to the workplace is too often overlooked, and unfortunately many young people find themselves exploited, working long hours for low wages, with little support.
“Yet by properly investing in the workforce of tomorrow, employers can nurture talent and help fill the skills gap – and give a boost to the local economy at the same time.
“It’s very welcome that the Trust views apprenticeships as an investment in its future workforce, rather than a short-term source of cheap labour. With the number of apprentices set to rise significantly over the next few years, we hope many other employers will soon follow their lead.”
Simon Bunting is currently undertaking an apprenticeship. He is employed by the Trust and works in the Pharmacy as a Computer services manager. He said: “I have really valued the opportunity to develop my career through undertaking an apprenticeship at the Trust. It is hard work, but I have learned a great deal which is already helping me to have a better understanding of leadership and management, enabling me to use this knowledge to become better at my job.
“It is great that more people will have a chance to undertake a high quality apprenticeship in the future.”
Karen Jackson, interim chief executive, said: “The Trust is delighted to be able to support UNISON's charter. Apprenticeships help us develop our staff, opening new doors in their development so together we can best meet patient needs.”