The new Learning Hub has been opened at Wharfedale Hospital to provide a dedicated training environment for apprentices at LTHT, including Clinical Support Worker (CSW) and Business Administration apprentices. The hub also contains several classrooms, a realistic training ward, and an IT suite to provide an all-round learning experience.
The Trust has made expanding its apprentice programmes a top priority. The initial aim of training 200 CSW apprentices per year has increased to 300, thanks to the opening of the Learning Hub at Wharfedale Hospital. Around 30 CSW apprentices will undergo training each month over 2016-2017 alongside four sessions for Business Administration apprentices.
Transport has been laid on to take the apprentices from St James’s to Wharfedale in the morning and back again in the afternoon.
The Learning Hub is split into five bays, allowing for multiple classes and different teaching functions. Three bays are used as classrooms, with a fourth bay used as a fully-equipped IT suite for online learning. A fifth bay is used as a training ward for CSW apprentices, complete with beds, cupboards and side-tables to resemble a working ward as closely as possible.
Mark Russo, assessor for Learn Direct, said: “The mocked-up training ward helps prepare the apprentice CSWs for when they move on to the real thing. Learning the practical techniques associated with moving and handling patients in a realistic environment equips our CSWs for what they will find on an actual ward. We’ve never had a dedicated training hub before – It’s a huge improvement.”
There is scope for the Learning Hub to accommodate further apprenticeship schemes in the future, including higher level programmes such as management, HR, and IT.
Sue Davidson, support staff development manager at Organisational Learning, said: “The push for more apprenticeship opportunities is opening up other departments in the Trust to these programmes. Wharfedale’s Learning Hub is key in spearheading this development as it provides a readily available training facility that apprentices of all disciplines may benefit from.
“‘Those who train with us, stay with us’ is our motto at Organisational Learning. Staff retention is much higher through the apprenticeship scheme compared with other recruitment avenues.”
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