A group of 10 Lincolnshire teenagers are the first to embark on a “healthcare cadet” scheme in their region, which is designed to offer a new path into nursing.
The two-year training programme is a joint venture between Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust and John Leggott College in Scunthorpe, and combines hands-on work experience with study.
“We’re investing in local people by helping them get the clinical skills they need and guaranteeing them a job at the end of the course”
The aim is for the healthcare cadets, all aged between 16 and 18, to gain the skills needed to become healthcare assistants, graduating with a Level 3 extended diploma in health and social care.
They will spend three days in college and two days on the wards at either Scunthorpe or Grimsby hospitals, where it is hoped they will gain practical experience of healthcare.
Those who successfully complete the training are promised a job.
“We’re forging these links with the local college to strengthen our workforce now and secure it for the future,” said Simon Dunn, head of organisational development and workforce planning at the trust.
He added: “We’re investing in local people by helping them get the clinical skills they need and guaranteeing them a job at the end of the course.”
Emily Hughes, assistant principal at the college, said the scheme was unique in the Humber region.
“This creative, innovative and hands-on programme will aid young people from across the area to get the academic and clinical experience required to support progression to nursing and highly competitive roles and courses within the sector,” she said.
One of the recruits is 16-year-old Demi Walker from Aylesbury, who will be based at Grimsby hospital and has already done work experience on the wards there.
“I’ve always wanted to be a nurse as I have a passion for helping people,” she said. “My recent time on the wards made me realise even more just how much I wanted to be a nurse.
“When I heard about the course I liked the idea of having more work experience alongside my studies,” she said.
Estelle Cocking, aged 16, from Gainsborough, will be based at Scunthorpe hospital.
“I was going to do my A-levels bit I saw this course and thought it would be more useful with the experience it offers and it will be a quicker way into the profession,” she said.
“I think the best way to get into nursing is to get the hands on experience, which this course offers,” she added.