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CUH announced 'Employer of the Year' in national awards

17 October 2012
Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) has been awarded 'Macro Employer of the Year 2012' in Central Eastern region in the National Apprenticeship and Training awards.

The application will now automatically move forward to the judging panel that will choose the national winner in November. The awards have been designed to acknowledge and celebrate employers' commitment to developing their workforce through apprenticeships.

Work opportunities team: Linda Hering, Kate Gilhooly and Ben Scratcher

The first apprentice at CUH started in 2009. Since then, more than 300 apprentices have been trained in different roles including business and administration, customer service, healthcare support services, management, IT, maintenance and others.  The dedicated work opportunities team at Addenbrooke's supports apprentices and their managers through recruitment, induction and development.

Linda Hering, CUH employee development manager, said: "This was the first time CUH entered to the awards and we are delighted with the win. This is a great recognition of our work. We are passionate in offering flexible and diverse schemes that help young people get into work through work experience and apprenticeship programmes. 'Growing our own' is important to the Trust to ensure that we have developed individuals who met our values of kind, safe and excellent."

Joanne with her awardFully supported by local trade unions, CUH has become only the second NHS trust to sign a UNISON apprenticeship programme. Carole Proctor, lifelong learning co-ordinator for Unison's Cambridge health branch, said: "We are delighted that CUH has won this prestigious award. This was possible because of our partnership and hard work over recent years. In particular the expertise of the late Phil Kemp, unison regional learning and development organiser, was instrumental in formulating the successful bid, which would be a fitting tribute to his memory."

Joanne Robinson was an administration apprentice in pharmacy before she was offered a permanent contract. Joanne was a finalist in her category and was highly commended on her certificate. She said: "Being on the apprentice course really helped to build my confidence and improve my communication skills. Not only is this helpful to further my career opportunities, but it has made me a more confident person overall."

Apprentice experience within an organisation helps promote individuals' personal progress, build their good practice and underpin their professional habits and good conduct. According to one in five employers are hiring more apprentices to help them through the tough economic climate. It is suggested too, that employers also believe apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce.