7 health and care students have been offered jobs with the NHS in north Cumbria after completing a pre-employment programme.

The Bridge to the Bank programme is a 3 week scheme that has been set up to help nurse cadets and health and social care students get the required experience to work for the NHS as health care assistants.

The programme has been up and running for 1 year and has had 2 cohorts with 15 students being offered bank employment at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust. The 7 students who have just completed the latest programme at Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle, have all been successful in being offered a position with the Trust.

Amy Cockton, Assistant Learning Facilitator at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, has been involved in supporting and running the programme, she said:

“We’ve been running Bridge to the Bank for a year now and it’s been really positive with lots of successful students gaining employment with us.

“We work alongside Carlisle College and their Health and Social Care students and offer the programme to these students. Candidates who are selected for the programme complete 3 weeks of training and do a work experience placement on a ward with the Trust, with the guarantee of an interview to join the health care assistant bank at the end.

“We’re delighted that all 7 students from our latest cohort have been offered positions. Many have their sights set on staying in Cumbria and developing their careers with us in the NHS which is brilliant.

“The Trust is committed to growing our own workforce and providing opportunities, and through programmes like this we are continuing to grow and build our future workforce from the local talent we have available to us.”

Student, Robyn Waite, 19, from Annan had her placement on Hazel Ward at Cumberland Infirmary, she said:

“The Bridge to the Bank programme is a proven success, as I have now gained a position working in healthcare at the Cumberland Infirmary. This programme has offered me practical experience in a hospital ward, which has given me great insight into the many different job roles and responsibilities, as well the importance of working as part of a team. During the course, I learned more about topics such as, infection prevention and control, patient confidentiality, customer service in healthcare as well as working towards the care certificate and gaining certificates for mandatory e-learning modules. I am looking forward starting my career in healthcare and I am excited for what the future holds.”

Evannah Irving, 18, from Silloth had placement on Willow C at Cumberland Infirmary, she said:

“This programme has been an amazing experience and provided a great entry route into the hospital. This programme is a great alternative way to start off your career. I hope to work my way up and study midwifery and become a midwife. I’ve loved the experience.”

The Trust is has just begun another cohort with 3 students at West Cumberland Hospital set to go on placement next week.

The ‘Bridge to the Bank’ programme is available for those aged 18 and over who are currently studying BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in HSC or CACHE Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social care. The programme is ideal for those who have not secured a place at university and/or considering apprenticeship opportunities within the NHS. For more information on the programme or other similar programmes contact:  Amy.cockton@ncic.nhs.uk.

 Names of people in the photo are (from bottom of the stairs up): Emma Harper, Evannah Irving, Ashlea Ratcliffe, Bella Rowan, Jade Holliday, James Manser (Learning Facilitator at NCIC) and Robyn Waite.

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