Trust flies the flag for apprentices as part of national awareness week

Published on: 8th March 2017

Fledgling NHS careers in mental health and learning disability services are being championed as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2017 (6 to 10 March).

The campaign, coordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service, celebrates apprentices and the positive impact they have on business and the wider economy and is being supported by Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT).

The Trust, currently employs 11 apprentices (10 admin and one clinical) and is always on the lookout to receive applications for those wanting to kick-start their careers in the NHS.

It was also one of the first trusts in the country to introduce the mental health clinical apprenticeships into its workforce, allowing students to take on a variety of ward-based placements in addition to completing their academic studies.

A cohort of five clinical apprentices recently completed their courses, and have now been appointed into permanent health care support worker jobs across the Trust.

Grace Bark, who works with older adult patients on the Trust’s Langworth Ward at Witham Court in Lincoln, said she thoroughly enjoyed her apprenticeship journey.

Doing a clinical apprenticeship has given me much more of an insight into mental health and I’ve had the opportunity to experience every aspect of the job. I enjoy working with older adults as there’s more overlap with physical health, which makes it really interesting.  In a few years’ time I’d really like to start my nurse training.  

Ellie Cook, who now works as an activities coordinator on Charlesworth Ward at the Peter Hodgkinson Centre adult inpatient mental health unit in Lincoln said her confidence had been boosted by studying for an apprenticeship.

When I started I was quite shy but throughout the year I’ve just built up my confidence in everything – being able to talk to patients and give staff my opinion – I have become a better person.  I enjoyed working on the ward, shadowing the nursing assistants and interacting with the patients.  In my new role I help to devise a weekly timetable of different activities for the patients to take part in on the ward.

While clinical apprentices work towards full-time careers in care, administration apprentices study for a Level 2 diploma in Business and Administration, while also being paid to learn on-the-job and gain valuable work experience.

Each new apprentice also receives regular help and advice from an apprentice coordinator in addition to receiving day-to-day support from their local manager.

LPFT’s Apprentice Coordinator Sharon Jolly, said the Trust’s apprenticeship programme offers something for everyone.

There’s no age limit on applications and we’ve got some fantastic openings in some diverse areas, offering good progression for people who want to make a long-term career with the NHS.  Get in touch and see what an apprenticeship may have to offer for you.

To find out more about apprenticeships with LPFT visit and search for Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Pictured above are the LPFT clinical apprentices from left to right, Emma Burns, Ellie Cook, Louise Nixon and Grace Bark, with College Assessor Nicki Gray (blue top) and Sharon Jolly in the centre.