The United Kingdom has been experiencing a nursing shortage for several years, which has led to increased pressure on healthcare services.
However, there is some hope in the form of apprenticeships, which are being used to help tackle the nurse shortage issue in the country. In particular, UCW and the University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW), who are leading the way with 25 new degree apprentices starting earlier this year.
Nursing apprenticeships provide an opportunity for individuals to earn while they learn, gaining valuable skills and experience on the job while also receiving a qualification. The apprenticeships are funded by the government, which means that the cost of training is covered, and apprentices receive a salary while they work.
This is a win-win situation for both the healthcare sector, which gains skilled and motivated staff, and for the individuals themselves, who have the opportunity to enter a rewarding career and gain valuable qualifications without the burden of student debt.
Weston College Principal and Chief Executive, Sir Paul Phillips, said: “We are delighted to work closely with UHBW, and provide opportunities for people to join the National Health Service.
“The partnership offers an innovative approach to nurse training, combining academic learning with hands-on experience in a real-world setting. The curriculum was created in partnership with our colleagues at UHBW and in collaboration with University West of England, being delivered at the Bristol Training Institute.
“This approach ensures that apprentices are well prepared for the challenges of working in the healthcare sector and have the practical skills and knowledge needed to make a positive impact on patients’ lives.”
The nursing apprenticeships offered by UCW and UHBW are open to individuals of all ages and backgrounds, including those who may not have considered nursing as a career path before.
Rich Francis from Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) and Victoria Howells from UHBW, shared: “BNSSG Integrated Care System (ICS) are developing a ‘grow your own’ approach to increasing the nursing workforce. We are delighted to be working collaboratively with one of our local university centres, UCW to support this educational training initiative.
“In March, over 25 Trainee Nursing Associate apprentices from University Hospitals Bristol and Weston (UHBW) enrolled on the nursing associate apprenticeship based in Bristol which is all part of the range of apprenticeships to tackle the shortage of nurses across the region. UCW has been delivering this apprenticeship in Weston for the last 2 years but we’re excited to expand this offer to meet the needs of our local NHS health and care organisations and start to deliver in Bristol. The delivery schedule was a joint curriculum partnership with our colleagues at UHBW and overall, this degree has been developed in collaboration with UWE and delivered at our Bristol site.
“As part of this work, across the region, the ICS are also increasing the number of Apprentices across all areas including clinical, facilities, administration, and management careers.”