Southampton's vocational skills centre attracts international visitors

Leading figures from India visited the hospital-based vocational skills centre to see how UHS is developing and delivering apprenticeships within the Trust.

Leighton Ernberger, education and skills advisor for the British High Commission, New Delhi, and Babu Khan and Sanjoay Chhabra, from India’s Healthcare Sector Skill Council, spoke to managers and students from finance, estates, portering, health and pharmacy following international recognition of the Trust’s in-house apprenticeship initiative.

The visitors were provided with an overview of the apprenticeship programmes available and how they were used to benefit the hospital. They also had the opportunity to see apprentices at work and the sort of activity they were involved in.

The aim of their visit was to understand how clinical and non-clinical staff are supported and how the apprenticeship programmes are delivered with the view of developing a similar scheme in India.

Anita Esser, head of wider healthcare teams education at the Trust, said: “It was a real privilege to welcome our international guests and to be viewed as an example of good practice. We’re all very proud of the work the vocational skills centre does.

“On average, we have more than 100 apprentices undertaking programmes which has helped many people, from college leavers to those in their 40s and 50s, find employment and gain nationally recognised qualifications in these difficult times.

“We hope our visitors from India are able to replicate a similar scheme in their own healthcare setting and we would be delighted if we could help and be involved with support and assistance as they develop this."

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Vocational skills centre visit