A GROUP of apprentices who have spent nine months working at Worcestershire Royal Hospital and Redditch's Alexandra Hospital have taken a step closer to becoming fully-qualified healthcare professionals.

Abbie Taylor, Charlotte Sherriff, Ellie Prew, Lucy Keyte, Sarah Jane Tyrer and Tom Dawes joined the apprenticeship scheme run by Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust - which runs the two facilities as well as Kidderminster Hospital - in September last year.

Spending nine months working full time while also studying towards their qualifications, the six have now completed their clinical healthcare level two apprenticeships.

The trust's head of learning and development Sandra Berry applauded the apprentices for their hard work.

“The job of a healthcare assistant is hard work, and it was an experiment at first to see if it is the kind of role that is suitable for an apprenticeship," she said.

“I am pleased to say that our apprentices have risen to the challenge, and we’ve had excellent reports from the ward staff about the scheme.

“The year has flown by, and I’m very proud of the apprentices who have completed their qualifications. "They are the workforce of tomorrow, and the experience of working in a busy acute hospital setting goes a long way toward preparing you for the next stage in your career.”

The group were also supported in their studies by Solihull College.