THE hospital trust in charge of the John Radcliffe has been praised by an education watchdog for the quality of its apprenticeship teaching.

'Highly-focused' support and 'excellent' training were some of the findings in a report by Ofsted.

Inspectors visited Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) in June to see how well the hospital trust was supporting its apprentices since becoming an employer provider in 2017.

The trust offers apprenticeships in a variety of roles, covering everything from admin to laboratory technicians and frontline healthcare positions.

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They are available to those aged 16 to 19 as well as adult apprenticeships for staff.

With OUH battling increasing demand and chronic staff shortages, apprenticeships are one way to train new talent.

As of the end of June there were 1,091 vacancies across the trust, with 588 of them for nursing and midwifery roles.

The report stated that the trust's leaders and managers 'prioritise the recruitment of local young people' pointing to good relationships with schools.

It added: "Current and former apprentices act as advocates, promoting apprenticeships. This increases recruitment."

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The Ofsted report also said managers supported their apprentices well and tailored their guidance to individual needs.

It said: "Apprentices receive excellent on- and off-the-job training that prepares them well for their job roles and end-point assessments.

"Most apprentices develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours that they need to succeed in their training and at work."

Areas noted that needed to improve included initial assessments of apprentices.

Claire Wardle, Apprentice Lead at OUH, said the trust was 'really pleased' with the results of this report.

She added: “It’s great to hear that our support and guidance benefits our apprentices so well.

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“We offer a wide variety of education, training, and development opportunities for our apprentices – it’s incredibly varied with opportunities ranging from travelling overseas to support our international recruitment, to planning our very popular and successful Staff Recognition Awards.

“The report has also given us areas to focus on to develop and improve our services even further, and we are committed to providing the best possible experience for our apprentices.”

Jack Dobson, a former Laboratory Support Worker Apprentice in Microbiology who is now doing a degree in Biomedical Science while still working in the OUH department, said: “As an apprentice I was getting a wage alongside a BTEC qualification – the best of both worlds.

"My communication and team working skills were hugely improved."

For more information on our apprenticeships schemes, please visit