15th March 2016

Image: Norman Lamb.MP Norman Lamb kick starts apprenticeship week at Birmingham’s Excellence Centre

“It’s great to be in Birmingham to meet apprentices in the health sector and to learn about the work of the National Skills Academy for Health.”

Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb visited Birmingham yesterday to meet several healthcare apprentices as part of National Apprenticeship Week. On his visit, Norman met six apprentices from different healthcare backgrounds to discover more about their experiences and answer some of their questions about the future of the NHS. Olivia and Clare from Birmingham CrossCity CCG met with Norman to tell him more about their experiences and explained how attitudes to apprenticeships are slowly improving.

Candace Miller, Director of the National Skills Academy for Health said; “It’s really fantastic to be here for Norman’s visit, Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG have helped to drive up the range and quality of apprenticeships within this region in particularly primary care. West Heath Medical Centre is a forward thinking practice with strong collaborations to achieve award winning results.”

Excellence Centre host employers, Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) won the Health Service Journal’s ‘Clinical Commissioning Group of the Year’ for the second time last November.

Andy Williams, Accountable Officer at Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group, said; "As the only Excellence Centre CCG, we have a major focus upon apprenticeships and support workers. We want to encourage local 16-24-year-olds into a career in primary care, encourage workers from any age into a career in Primary Care whilst supporting and developing our current workforce.

"We operate in a region which suffers from considerable unemployment and we are delighted to offer this opportunity to get local people back into work while strengthening the skills of staff at GP practices."

Dr Jayne Tullett, Performance, Training and Compliance Manager at South Doc Services Ltd advised; "Training is at the heart of what we do. It's vital that we have the correct training in place, in order to carry all of our services successfully into the future. We look forward to working with the National Skills Academy for Health, through South Doc Services and the newly-formed Kingsman College."

Image: Apprentices.

Norman concludes; “Apprenticeships are an excellent way of creating a highly skilled and highly motivated workforce for our NHS. The demand for healthcare is rising inexorably as a result of a growing and an ageing population. More people are living with long-term conditions than ever before, while the cost of advances in medical treatment places further strain on the system. we need to ensure that our NHS workforce has the skilled professionals it needs. It’s essential that we commit wholly to supporting apprenticeships in the health sector.”

To find out more about the National Skills Academy for Health and the Excellence centres visit: www.nsahealth.org.uk.