London Ambulance Service has once again been named as the top NHS employer for apprenticeships in the country. The service is one of only three NHS trusts in the UK to make the rankings in the Department for Education’s Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers 2022 and is ranked at number 25.
London Ambulance Service (LAS) has more than 650 apprentices, with more than half of those on paramedic degree apprenticeships. LAS also has a further 237 people working as Assistant Ambulance Practitioners (AAPs), a role which also provides on-the-job training.
Director of People and Culture Damian McGuinness said, “We are committed to education and training and equipping our people with the knowledge, skills and experience to thrive in their careers. This achievement recognises that we are striving to be the employer of choice in London: we nurture talent and London Ambulance Service is a place where people can develop and flourish.”
Hina shares her story
Hina Pajwani is on an apprenticeship course to become a paramedic while also working as Emergency Ambulance Crew.
She said, “There is a real culture of learning at LAS. My team leaders are also studying for their masters so they give me tips on combining work with study It’s hard work, but I’m so well supported. I like the fact that as soon as I learn something in the classroom and demonstrate my competency, I can be signed off to practise that skill on the road under supervision. I have an amazing crewmate who ensures I’m always learning – whether in the classroom or out on an ambulance.”
A new role for LAS
LAS created the completely new role of Assistant Ambulance Practitioners during the pandemic, meaning people with no clinical experience could quickly be trained to work on the frontline. Recruits complete a 12-week training programme which includes studying for a level 3 diploma and a blue light driving course before working alongside paramedics on ambulances.
This year London Ambulance Service launched the most ambitious recruitment programme in its history, with a plan to for 1,600 new people joining its teams.
Hina added: “It is so rewarding to be able to do a job where you help people every day. If you’re interested in becoming a paramedic, you should just go for it – an apprenticeship scheme is a great way to get a degree.”