Introducing Oxford University Hospitals, School Award sponsor

We are delighted to introduce Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) as sponsor of the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards 2021 School Award. The Trust recognises the value of young people having the opportunity to investigate their career choices while at school through workplace visits and conversations with people about their jobs.

Apprenticeships Business Manager Shilpa Bhatt explains what Apprenticeships mean to the Trust and what they're looking for in an award-winning school.

Tell us why you’re supporting the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards and why you have chosen to sponsor your particular category      

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is a large teaching hospital and a world class research centre, employing 13,000 staff. Currently 460 apprentices are training in various programmes from intermediate to degree level.

To meet the challenges of workforce shortages in the health sector, we have injected significant resources into Apprenticeships as part of a solution to address workforce need. Our Apprentices train alongside experienced staff, developing their skills in the frontline of healthcare, often leading to life-changing moments.

We work closely with deprived schools and organisations promoting social mobility enabling us to grow a stable, skilled workforce. In 2018, 70 Apprentices graduated and 85% are still with us. We looking to grow the numbers significantly.

The Trust is excited by the continued opportunities presented by Apprenticeships as a ready-made career pathway for its employees.

The Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards recognise the achievements of hard working Apprentices and organisations that have excelled in their practice and gives inspiration to others to follow their example. Sophie, OUH Apprentice and Apprenticeship Ambassador with OXLEP says: “The opportunity to get involved with schools, sharing my Apprenticeship journey and inspiring the next generation to think about their career options has been rewarding”.

Schools in Oxfordshire play a key role to link young people to choose Apprenticeship pathways as a career choice and offer opportunities with businesses locally.

Acknowledging someone’s contribution to society is always important. We are honoured to support and celebrate the achievements of schools who have excelled to support young people to make career choices or individuals who have had barriers to overcome to achieve their journey and whose victories are not so easily won.

What are you looking for in the winner of your category?

We are looking at innovative ways in which schools engage with employers, build rapport and encourage them to get involved in supporting their students to make career choices, including:

  • School careers advisors who are supporting and guiding students in a range of careers pathways and are keen advocates of Apprenticeships.
  • Schools that are using networks, engaging with employers to build their knowledge about career progression routes available are key.
  • Cascading appropriate information to students, using innovative approaches to engage them in dialogue by using social media and other platforms.
  • Engaging in career events, inviting businesses and Apprentice ambassadors to come and talk to young people.
  • A whole school approach, positive ethos to inclusive career guidance and able to show the impact of their work.

What would you say to schools thinking about entering?  

  • Tell us about the impact your careers enterprise activities has had on your learners.
  • We would like to hear about some quantitative data about activities, impacts and effective use of resources developing sustainable ways to reach range of young people in your schools.
  • We want to hear your success stories and examples of good practice in how this has made a difference to individuals and your organisation practices.
  • Schools that have vastly enhanced and rapidly added value to their career enterprise activities, engaging with employers and their communication to students.
  • Championing and leading the way in inclusive career options to meet the needs of all students through inclusive pre-employment programmes i.e traineeships, Apprenticeships and aspirational opportunities to all students to achieve their full potential.
  • Share your good practices of engaging businesses and supporting them to develop future talent and benefits of working with schools.

Tell us about your organisation’s experience of Apprenticeships          

The Trust places huge value in the benefits of Apprenticeships that can support the OUH to recruit people into their hard to fill vacancies and ensure there is a pipeline of skills. It offers opportunities for individual staff to upskill through minimum disruption to their working day and maximum impact on their career development.

At OUH we offer unique experience for all our Apprentices and they are recruited in all areas of our trust. Directors and leaders advocate Apprenticeships and lead by example by recruiting Apprentices in their teams.

Invest to enjoy the fruits - Apprenticeships have also helped the Trust address workforce need, as well as giving back to the community through excellent patient care and helping recruit the workforce of future through their ambassador activities.

We have an aspirational Apprenticeship strategy and will be rapidly increasing our offer in diverse areas and greater numbers, with clear pathways. 

“Apprentices play an essential role in our team and if they are absent for a day we miss their input.”   - Workforce Manager

Join the conversation

Join us for Oxfordshire Apprenticeships Hour (#OAHour) on Twitter @OxonApprentice from 1pm every Thursday for latest on the Awards and join in the conversation using the hashtag #OAAwards2021.