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Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week: GP Alliance Success Story

12 Feb 2021

It is National Apprenticeship Week, the theme for 2021 is ‘Build the Future’ and that is exactly what Sunderland GP Alliance are doing by recruiting and developing apprentices within there GP practices.

Springboard has worked with Sunderland GP Alliance to help recruit place apprentices in their practices; the alliance is a not-for-profit collaboration of GP practices in Sunderland. Thirty five of the city’s forty GP practices are members of the Alliance, and between them they have over 250,000 patients. All these practices work together, via the Alliance, to help improve services for patients at a time when the NHS is under pressure.

Kevin Doran, Assistant to Head of General Practice at Sunderland GPA, expressed how proud he is of the apprentices they have recruited to their organisation over the last few years.  Every single one of their Business Administrator apprentices are now permanent positions as Medical Receptionists within the five practices in Pennywell, Barmston, Washington, South Hylton and New Silksworth.

Their most recent apprentice Rebecca Casey secured her permanent post with the alliance last week and is making progress towards achieving her Business Administrator Level 3 standard despite the pressures of working full time in a busy GP practice during the pandemic.

Rebecca said “An apprenticeship is a great career start with a lot of support given throughout the full Apprenticeship. I have been able to progress within my job role as well as learn a lot within other sectors within the organisation.”

Katy Hutchinson started her level 2 apprenticeship in 2017 and progressed to level 3 before being taken on in a permanent role has recently achieved a promotion to recently and is now supporting with IT administration in the practice alongside her role as medical receptionist. Kevin commented that he was blown away by her at interview and is impressed by how she has developed and progressed since she started with the alliance.

Rahat Ahmed and Emily Loraine also started as apprentices and have matured and developed into valuable members of the team at Sunderland GPA.

Kevin said that he believes investing in apprentices and offering these young people the chance to start their career journey with an apprenticeship has improved their workforce and enabled them to build an even stronger team committed to providing the best health care possible for the people of Sunderland.

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