The Cornwall Partnership Foundation NHS Trust apprenticeship programme has been hailed as ‘one of the best’ by a Minister of State. 

As part of National Apprenticeship Week, the trust was delighted to welcome the Right Honourable Robert Halfon MP to its headquarters in Bodmin on Monday. 

The week recognises and celebrates the achievements of apprentices across the country. It also aims to raise awareness for those considering the next step on their career paths. 

The trust recruited its 500th apprentice starting onto an apprenticeship programme in September 2023. There have now been 560 apprentice starts since the launch of the apprenticeship programmes. It has also utilised 35 different types of apprenticeship programmes across all levels from 2 (entry level) to 7 (masters level). 

The Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education met some of the apprentices from within the trust to speak about their apprenticeship journeys. 

He also spoke with students from Truro and Penwith College. They are currently in the first year of their T-Level studies and will be undertaking placement experiences with the trust. 

The Minister then chatted with the trust’s senior management team and chief executives. Among the topics discussed was how the trust has used apprenticeships as part of its workforce plans and development. 

He said: “I’ve been all over the country, but I have to say this is one of the best examples (of apprenticeships) I have seen. Not just in the NHS but across the board. Right down from the chief executives to every employee here, there seems to be a deep-rooted understanding about building an apprenticeship skills nation and making sure everyone, young or old, has an opportunity. 

“That means job security, prosperity at the top of that ladder, but it also means meeting skills in the NHS. It’s a win-win. 

“They (the trust) are providing opportunities to everyone. Whether they are young or an adult, to train to do amazing apprenticeships, all the way from level 3 to degree.” 

He added: “They are also building links with local colleges so we can have some fantastic T-Level students. Their presentations were absolutely brilliant. 

“If you do the T-Level then they get jobs, they may go on to do apprenticeships, they may go on to university. It’s incredible to see the Trust doing everything possible to make it happen. 

“It’s well worth coming here because the Trust really gets it. They understand how important skills are, they understand all the different skill choices for young people and adults.” 

The trust currently has 240 live apprentices. Another cohort of registered nurse degree apprentices are due to start in March 2024.