This week is National Apprenticeship Awareness Week. ELFT has a range of Apprenticeship opportunities in a number of areas. One of these is podiatry - a service that provides care and treatment to people with complex foot issues or physical health conditions that can affect foot health. Here we hear from Emma Stoneman, Professional lead for Podiatry at ELFT, and Alexander Izod, Podiatry Apprenticeship Lead at University of East London about the impact of apprenticeships in the service in Bedfordshire:
Over the last year, our first cohort of apprentices have been making excellent progress towards developing the knowledge, skills, and behaviours required for a career in Podiatry. During the pandemic, they have shown resilience and determination in rising to the challenge of combining both off-the-job learnings with work-based commitments and responsibilities.
Consistently, our staff have highlighted that UEL Podiatry apprentices have quickly become viewed as valuable members of their clinical teams. In fact, our first cohort of apprentices have demonstrated an accelerated level of professionalisation, allowing them to quickly gain confidence in applying theory-to-clinical practice. This has meant that they have been able to make a significant contribution to 'hands-on' patient care at an early stage within their apprenticeships. Over time, this increasingly valuable contribution within the workplace has made them highly valued members of the NHS workforce.
Feedback from our apprentices has also been positive; they report that their experience of off-the-job learning with UEL has been both interesting and intellectually stimulating. Our apprentices also value the support that they receive from their employers and the unique learning experiences that only work-based learning can provide.
Overall, our first cohort have made a fantastic start and are excellent ambassadors for both UEL and their employers.