22nd June 2015

Image: Cadet recieving award.On Friday 19 June 2015, Bridgewater Hall played host to Health Education North West’s Annual Cadet Award Ceremony, hosted by Skills for Health Academy North West. The event welcomed nearly 400 graduating Cadets as well as nearly 1,000 guests to celebrate the Cadet’s achievements from the past year and to give recognition to the collaboration between Health Education North West, Skills for Health and their partners throughout the year.

Candace Miller, Director of the National Skills Academy for Health, led the ceremony with Skills for Health CEO, John Rogers, opening with a welcome address to all attendees. This year’s awards centred around the theme ‘It’s in our hands’ with Deborah Arnot, Director NHS North West Leadership Academy leading a key note. Within her presentation she shared messages from the Cadets pledging their commitment to the future healthcare workforce.

Numerous distinguished guests were in attendance to present a range of awards throughout the afternoon. Sir Keith Pearson, Chair of Health Education England and Laura Roberts, Director of (North) Health Education England led the awards by handing out The Cadet of the Year Award, presented to one Cadet from each sub region who has gone above and beyond during their time on the programme.

Dr Mike Farrell , Head of Education Transformation HENW and Sally Cheshire, Chair of HENW handed out The Michael McNally Mentor Awards which were given to show the importance of the role that the mentors play in supporting the Cadets within their placement and reward those they believe have given them exceptional support and encouragement.

Every year the Cadets raise funds for a chosen charity and this year they presented a cheque to Dementia UK, for £5530.79. This is the second year the Cadets have chosen Dementia UK and were able to raise a significant amount. Over the two years the cadets have raised a total of £11,774.29

The afternoon also provided the chance for Cadets to network with other guests once the awards had been presented, as well as being able to enjoy music from local band The Protagonists, who performed as attendees were arriving at the event.

Judith Jones, Cadet Development Lead at Skills for Health Academy North West commented: “With the Cadet programme now in its 12th year it is great to see the continued success of the Cadets and the difference this programme is making for young people in our region. We are delighted to be able to offer a programme each year which supports young people to enter into the NHS and Care Sector. Each year Cadets demonstrate their hard work and commitment and it’s great to be able to recognise this and reward them as the year ends. We’re delighted to be holding the event and welcome the Cadets and their families, as well as the special guests who are here presenting the awards.”

Image: Cadets.

The day was also used to celebrate the partnership between Skills for Health Academy North West and seven schools throughout the region who came together to allow pupils access to an after school Skills Club. The Skills Club is a voluntary after-school initiative that provides a vocational taster programme for 14 year old pupils. These pupils were introduced to the wide range of potential job opportunities that are on offer with a career in the NHS. Six interactive workshops were held in trusts in the area:

  • Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • NHS Foundation Trust
  • North West Ambulance Service HNS Trust
  • Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen Hospital Trust
  • Bolton NHS Foundation Trust
  • Wrightington Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust

The Academy’s Cadet Programmes provide young people aged 16-19 with a route into healthcare careers, by enabling them to gain valuable work experience and recognised qualifications over a one to two year period. There are two levels of Cadet Programmes:

  • Level 2 Healthcare and Non Clinical and Level 3 Dental Apprenticeship programmes. Cadets are employed through the National Skills Academy Health. They are supported by Skills for Health Academy North West Cadet team, who regularly review progress and offer mentoring advice.
  • Level 3 Multi Professional Health Care- a two year college programme combining study with healthcare placements. Giving individuals the appropriate skills, training and qualifications for their next step within higher education.

Image: Skills for Health CEO John Rogers.The programmes provide the Cadets with the opportunity to work alongside NHS staff in real situations. Gaining experience of various work areas and interacting with qualified and experienced staff which can help Cadets to decide which career route they may wish to follow after their programme finishes.

In line with this, since the development of the Employment Progression Pathway Service in 2010, Skills for Health Academy North West have supported 1000 Skills for Health Academy Learners (Cadets and Pre Employment) into employment; a real testament to the dedication not only of the cadets but to everyone involved in the training and teaching of the future NHS workforce.

Get the pictures!

View all official photos from the award ceremony here