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Chief Executive Swaps Jobs with Apprentice

06 March 2013

The Chief Executive at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust swapped roles with one of the service’s apprentices to learn about the real value and impact of Apprenticeships.

David Whiting, who started his career as an ambulance service cadet over 30 years ago and has spent the last four as a Chief Executive, returned to the frontline on the Service’s non-emergency Patient Transport Service transporting patients between hospital and clinic appointments and their homes.

In return, one of the Trust’s apprentices, 19-year-old Daniel Watkin, joined David in his role as Chief Executive and spent time meeting members of the Operations senior management team to review the 999 service’s performance. He also caught up with the Deputy Chief Executive to discuss the organisation’s plans, preparation for a forthcoming Trust Board meeting and diary commitments for the week ahead. 

L-R: Chief Executive David Whiting and Apprentice Daniel Watkin duing the Job Swap

The Job Swap, held at Yorkshire Ambulance Service Headquarters in Wakefield and the local ambulance station, was organised as part of National Apprenticeship Week in March 2013.

Watch the film of the Job Swap at Yorkshire Ambulance Service:

David Whiting said: “I really enjoyed the Job Swap. I was very impressed with Daniel’s commitment and enthusiasm and how he put the knowledge and skills he has learnt throughout his apprenticeship training into practice and the excellent care he showed towards our patients. Our Apprenticeships are an ideal first step towards employment within the ambulance service and, after spending some time with Daniel, I know he has a very bright future ahead of him.

“Establishing apprenticeships within our organisation has energised our workforce and we have been rewarded with some great staff who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to work with us. We are committed to the training and development of our workforce through our Apprenticeships and see this an important step in ensuring a future generation of ambulance staff.”

Apprentice Daniel Watkin said: “It was nerve-racking to go into the role of the Chief Executive but it was a great experience and I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to spend the day with him. It was good to see how his role is centred around leading, planning and shaping the future of the organisation which is important to me as I intend to progress my career in the ambulance service in the coming years.  

“After leaving collage I wanted to learn new skills, build up my experience and work with members of the public; becoming an apprentice at Yorkshire Ambulance Service has provided me with a great opportunity to do just that. With David starting his career in the ambulance service as a cadet, it’s been good to see for myself how I can build up my skills and experience in various roles within the ambulance service and work my way up the ladder as he has done.”

Yorkshire Ambulance Service supports a wide variety of Apprenticeships where individuals receive full basic training, on-the-job mentorship, job-specific skills and gain a range of qualifications within an Apprenticeship Framework, which is delivered in partnership with YH Training Services Ltd. So far, around 150 apprentices have completed the apprentice programme and 80 of whom have secured employment with the Trust.

Hundreds of further events and activities are taking place across England in support of National Apprenticeship Week, which is designed to celebrate how Apprenticeships deliver for employers, young people, adults and the economy.

David Way, CEO of the National Apprenticeship Service, which is co-ordinating the Week, said: “It’s through activities such as the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Job Swap, that we can really demonstrate how Apprenticeships are a great way for young people to earn while they learn in a real job, gaining skills that employers value, setting them on the road to success in their chosen career.”

In 2011 Yorkshire Ambulance Service was named Employer of the Year in the NHS Yorkshire and the Humber Apprenticeship Awards in recognition of their commitment to developing a wide range of apprenticeship schemes and is one of four NHS Trusts to be recognised in the 2012 Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list in recognition of the very high standard of its apprenticeship scheme and outstanding training programmes.

The Trust has also been named as one of the Yorkshire and the Humber’s best employers in the regional final of the National Apprenticeship Awards and National Training Awards 2012 in recognition of the success of its apprenticeship schemes.

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department