Yorkshire Ambulance Service wins gold at national Learning Awards

26 February 2021

Dawn Adams, Head of the YAS Academy, and Claudia Winkleman at the virtual Learning Awards ceremony

Dawn Adams, Head of the YAS Academy, and Claudia Winkleman at the virtual Learning Awards ceremony

The Ambulance Support Worker apprenticeship programme at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust has won a gold award at the national 2021 Learning Awards held virtually on 18 February.

Launched in 2018, Yorkshire Ambulance Service was the first ambulance service to introduce the Ambulance Support Worker (emergency, urgent and non-urgent) apprenticeship.  It provides another pathway for career development to paramedic and the 12-18 month apprenticeship allows apprentices to learn on the frontline and includes six weeks’ classroom-based training and four weeks’ blue-light driver training.

The Trust was shortlisted for Apprenticeship Programme of the Year and took gold ahead of seven other public and private sector finalists in the category.

Organised by the Learning and Performance Institute (LPI), the online ceremony marked the learning sector’s 25th annual celebration of outstanding achievement and best practice in corporate learning and performance by organisations and individuals.

Presented by British TV and radio personality Claudia Winkleman and joined by an online audience of thousands, the Learning Awards ceremony was broadcast in the style of a TV event and hosted live from a recording studio in London.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service’s apprenticeship programme was cited as a clear winner, being the first of its kind in the UK and praised for being well designed and clearly demonstrating a strong impact on the organisation. The judging panel recognised that the Trust worked as part of a national trailblazer group to develop a programme for the ambulance service that meets a need to provide an entry point into the service and offers a robust career progression pathway.

In addition, the programme was commended for supporting workforce planning and having a positive influence on the quality of patient care.  In terms of measurable success, there have been very positive results with assessment pass rates and staff retention.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service currently has 235 clinical apprentices working to qualifications over three different apprenticeship levels – Emergency Care Assistant, Associate Ambulance Practitioner and Paramedic. The Trust also has 50 non-clinical apprentices in post within its non-emergency Patient Transport Service, Emergency Operations Centre and support services.

Dawn Adams, Head of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Academy, commented: “We are thrilled to have won this award and are very proud of the apprenticeship programme and career development pathway we have developed.  The Trust is highly committed to the provision of apprenticeships and we have much appreciated support from stakeholders, learners and clinicians which has helped to shape, embed and deliver the programme.  It has provided fresh stimulus for learning across the organisation and what really stands out is that our learners are at the heart of its success.

“Information on both clinical and non-clinical apprenticeships is available on the Yorkshire Ambulance Service website.  We are likely to be opening recruitment for our award-winning Ambulance Support Worker apprenticeship in March or April and again later in the year so we look forward to welcoming more apprentices to the Trust in the near future.”

Produced by: Corporate Communications Department