01st July 2014

On Friday 27 June 2014, ACC Liverpool played host to Health Education North West's Annual Cadet Award Ceremony, hosted by Skills for Health Academy North West. The event welcomed nearly 700 cadets and guests to celebrate the achievements of the graduating Cadets 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.

Image: Skills for Health, CEO, John Rogers, opens the Cadet Annual Award Ceremony.Skills for Health CEO, John Rogers, led the ceremony with a welcome address to all attendees. Numerous distinguished guests, such as Dean Royles, Chief Executive of NHS Employers, Sally Cheshire, Chair of Health Education North West (HENW), and Laura Roberts, Managing Director of HENW, also spoke for their admiration of the commitment and compassion of the cadets. The audience also heard from the Cadets themselves, who had a chance to share their experience and talk about the importance of the programme and the positive effect it has had on them.

Picture: Skills for Health, CEO, John Rogers, opens the Cadet Annual Award Ceremony

Closing the event was Sir Keith Pearson, Chair of Health Education England, who addressed the cadets in the room with a look at the way the NHS has changed emphasising the use of new technology: "You as young people inhabit this world naturally…and the NHS wants you to shape its use of this technology for the future." He further went on to commend the care and compassion the young cadets bring with them.

Image: Cadet of the Year, pictured left to right, Layla Bridges, Cumbria and Lancashire, Samantha Hodge, Cheshire and Merseyside, Amber Boyle, Greater Manchester.Presentations were also made on the day for a series of awards including The Cadet of the Year Award, presented to one Cadet from each sub region who had gone above and beyond during their time on the programme.

Picture: Cadet of the Year, pictured left to right, Layla Bridges, Cumbria and Lancashire, Samantha Hodge, Cheshire and Merseyside, Amber Boyle, Greater Manchester


It was not just a day to celebrate the Cadet's work, but also for those who had supported them throughout the year. The Michael McNally Mentor Award was given to show the importance of the role that the mentors play in supporting the Cadets within their placement - it rewards mentors who the Cadets believe have given them exceptional support and encouragement.

Image: Cadets present Dementia UK with a cheque worth £6,2431.50.The afternoon continued as the Cadets and the Academy presented a cheque to Dementia UK for £6,243.51. Every year the Cadets raise funds for their chosen charity and have over the past 8 years raised a staggering total of £58,604.45.

Picture: Cadets present Dementia UK with a cheque worth £6,2431.50


Images: Liverpool Dental Hospital Cadets.Skills for Health Academy North West also teamed up with Liverpool Women's Hospital, The Christie Hospital and Blackpool NHS Trust, to help Year 9 pupils take part in an after school initiative once a week, for 6 weeks. The pupils attended interactive workshops to learn about the skills and attributes needed to pursue a career in healthcare, as well as helping them to build their CV. The students and partners who supported the programme were present at the awards to celebrate their success.

Picture: Liverpool Dental Hospital Cadets

Judith Jones, Cadet Development Lead at Skills for Health Academy North West commented: "Each year we are delighted to see the cadet programme grow and we are delighted to host the event on behalf of all the partners involved. Most importantly, it's great to see the difference this programme is making for young people in our region. We are delighted to be able to offer a programme which supports young people to enter into the NHS and Care Sector. The programme has had such a positive effect for many of the Cadets present and it's great to be able to give something back to them through this event so they can be recognised for all of the hard work they have put in over the year."

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 1-2 year period. There are two levels of Cadet Programmes:

  • Level 2 and Level 3 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.

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.