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Burnham launches £25m NHS apprentice scheme

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NHS organisations will receive £25m to fund the creation of 5,000 NHS apprentice jobs by March next year, health secretary Andy Burnham has announced.

The posts will be a mixture of clinical support jobs, such as dental nurses and pharmacy support workers, and non-clinical roles in areas including IT and catering.

Strategic health authority areas will get funding for different numbers of apprentices, with more than 1,000 to be created in the West Midlands, but just 310 in the South West.

Apprenticeships are available to those aged 19 or under, and provide a mix of employer-based training or day release education.

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis, welcomed the announcement of the NHS apprenticeships.

‘The public sector has an important role to play in supporting people through the recession. Young people in particular are being hit hard and are struggling to get even near the jobs ladder,’ he said.

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