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Lucy Rouillon - Support Skills Adviser within the Skills for Health London Essential Skills Team – has been thanked by Gordon Brown for her achievements as an Advanced Apprentice working in the healthcare sector.

Lucy was one of four young people invited to meet the Prime Minister at Downing Street. During the visit, he saluted her work saying:

“The health service will benefit from everything you are doing so thank you very much.”

Lucy is a living example of how talented young people can be attracted back into learning, when they find an approach that appeals to them. Having already decided to leave education at 16, Lucy was inspired by a talk given at her school about Apprenticeships. She was drawn to the concept of earning a salary while learning so applied to do a two-year Advanced Apprenticeship in Business Administration based with the NHS.

Lucy now works with Skills for Health as part of the London-based Essential Skills Team. The team’s objectives are to train up small businesses in the independent and voluntary healthcare sector; help the unemployed get into work; and support those who are interested in becoming self-employed and/or setting up their own healthcare businesses.

Currently, Lucy’s role is to help unemployed men secure work in health and social care. As a direct result of her efforts, more than 250 people have received information, 60 have been put through to interview and 40 are now employed. Lucy puts her success down to the training she received during her Apprenticeship and the confidence she gained during the course. She said:

“One of the most useful skills my Apprenticeship taught me has been how to communicate and empathise with all sorts of people from all walks of life. This is something I will benefit from throughout my life.

“Also, when you leave school you don’t understand anything about going out to work. Practical things like developing a work ethic, organising your time, knowing how to behave in a work environment and having a professional approach, are all a mystery. These parts of the training are every bit as valuable as the business administration knowledge I gained.”

Of her meeting with the Prime Minister, Lucy said:

“He was really nice. Having him congratulate me personally made me feel really proud and very motivated.”

John Rogers, Chief Executive of Skills for Health added the organisation’s congratulations to the Prime Minister’s. He said:

“We are all very proud of Lucy’s achievements. Being highly commended in the Apprenticeship Awards - competing against hundreds of others - is impressive indeed. It demonstrates how - given the right support from employers - young people can sustain their enthusiasm for learning and discover their potential – at the same time becoming valued and productive employees. What better testament can there be to the worth of Apprenticeship programmes?”

Healthcare employers wanting to find out more about offering Apprenticeship programmes should email qualifications@skillsforhealth.org.uk

The Apprenticeship Awards are sponsored by the Learning and Skills Council. This year’s awards are open for entries until the end of February and the award ceremony will take place on the 10th July. A podcast of Lucy’s Downing Street visit can be viewed at: http://www.number10.gov.uk/output/Page14394.asp

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Notes to editors:

About Skills for Health – www.skillsforhealth.org.uk

Skills for Health (SfH) is the Sector Skills Council for UK health, funded by the four UK health departments in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales; the Sector Skills Development Agency; the education act regulatory bodies; and health sector employers and providers.

The 25 Sector Skills Councils which make up the Skills for Business Network are licensed by the Secretary of State for Education and Skills in consultation with Ministers from the devolved administrations. Each one has a sector ‘footprint’ and central goals to address skills gaps and shortages; improve productivity and performance; increase opportunities to boost skills; and improve learning supply.

Skills for Health’s sector footprint covers the entire National Health Service, and the whole of the independent and voluntary healthcare sectors across the UK - which collectively employ approximately 2 million people. The majority of occupations are linked to hospital activities and community health services, but the sector also includes general medical and dental practitioners and healthcare professionals working in nursing homes and private surgeries, and retail outlets such as pharmacists, opticians and self-employed practitioners.

The overarching remit of Skills for Health is to ultimately help improve health and healthcare by assisting the whole healthcare sector in developing solutions which deliver a skilled and flexible UK workforce.

Specific Skills for Health aims are to:

- profile the UK healthcare sector workforce
- develop and manage national workforce competences across the UK healthcare sector
- influence UK education and training supply to meet healthcare sector needs
- improve the workforce skills of the UK healthcare sector
- work with partners to achieve these aims.

Further information about Skills for Health and its work can be found at www.skillsforhealth.org.uk

Media contact:

Louise Jaggs, TextOnTap
Tel: +44 (0)1242 257770
Mob: +44 (0)7712 011246
Email: louise@textontap.com

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of On Tap Communications in the following categories: Health, Education & Human Resources, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.