Publish date: 13 February 2024

Two members of staff from West London NHS Trust attended the House of Commons for a special parliamentary reception last week.

Helen Lycett, Associate Director of Allied Health Professions (AHPs), and Carol Plows, Vocational Development and Apprenticeship Manager, were invited as part of National Apprenticeship Week (Monday 5 February to Friday 9 February).

It comes after the AHP education team was shortlisted for a national FE Week and AELP AAC Apprenticeship Award.

They were shortlisted in the category of 'Widening Participation through Apprenticeships' for the work they've been doing to recruit a broad range of candidates onto the Trust's AHP apprenticeship programmes.

Helen said: "The reception was hosted by the Rt Hon. Robert Halfon MP, who was unable to be there in person but had recorded a video address highlighting the important role apprenticeships play in developing the workforce and to thank us all for our hard work with growing apprentices across a range of sectors. 

"The highlight of the event was finding out that not only have the AHP education team been shortlisted for this award, but have made it onto the finalists list along with three other employers. 

"This was very unexpected and Carol and Helen were delighted to receive this recognition on behalf of the AHP education team.”

Claire McDonald, AHP education lead, said: "Since the first occupational therapist apprenticeship in 2019, the apprenticeship numbers have increased to four per year, then to 10 starting this academic year 2023/2024.

"This is an overall increase of 57% AHP apprentices from last year.

"The majority of apprentices were internal candidates supported to develop their careers, with 63% identifying as being from a BAME background, meaning that they were predominantly local and representative of the local population we serve.

"Currently, the level 3 SHSW, level 5 A-Health, Level 6 and 7 OT and Level 6 Physiotherapy apprenticeships are being offered with scoping for our other AHP professions SLT, dietetics, arts therapies and paramedic apprenticeships to support workforce shortfalls."

The awards ceremony takes place in Birmingham on Tuesday 27 February and Carol and Claire will be attending. We wish them all the luck in the world!

To find out more about job opportunities at West London NHS Trust click here: Vacancies :: West London NHS Trust