Devon Partnership NHS Trust sign UNISON’s Apprenticeship Charter

The Trust becomes the first employer in the South West to commit to the charter.

Signatories of UNISON's Apprenticeship Charter at Devon Partnership NHS Trust stand holding an oversized certificate outside Wonford House in Exeter.

Devon Partnership NHS Trust has formally signed up to UNISON’s Apprenticeship Charter, committing to better rights for workers.

UNISON’s charter highlights well funded, high quality apprenticeships leading to a meaningful job, making an important contribution in addressing skills gaps and tackle unemployment. It also calls for apprenticeships to be developed jointly by employers, trade unions, training providers, and apprentices.

Under the charter, the Trust has pledged to do everything it possibly can to grant apprentices rights to an employment contract and a job offer once their apprenticeship is complete.

Paul Blackmore, lead for apprenticeships in Devon Partnership Trust, said:

“We’re proud to be the first NHS Trust in the South West to partner with UNISON in signing the charter. Working together with UNISON to offer the promises of the charter will support a positive future for the Trust.”

Dr Floraidh Rolf, Devon Partnership Trust’s head of education and training, said:

”Apprentices are an amazing and integral part of our Trust’s workforce and its future. The programme offers lots of opportunities to both recruit and retain employees by enabling new staff to join and existing staff to upskill.”

Caroline Emery, UNISON staffside representative, said:

“We have been working towards this for the past two years. The work we have done with the Trust in that time has concreted their commitment to apprentices.

“We are really proud to have been the first South West branch to get to this point and we hope our work can be a model for future agreements in the region.

“The charter will be proudly displayed in the main reception of the Wonford House site for all to see.”

Natalie Chadwick, UNISON regional learning & development organiser, said:

“After completing an apprenticeship myself this year I know how this charter will enable employees to feel valued while building their confidence and skills and empower them at work. Hopefully more NHS trusts will see the benefit and want to sign UNISON’s Apprenticeship Charter.”

Find out more about UNISON’s Apprenticeship Charter