Trust scoops Weston College award for adult training partnership


Trust scoops Weston College award for adult training partnership

Over the last few years we’ve been working closely with partner organisations to develop creative ways to recruit colleagues into the NHS.

One of those initiatives that has proven a huge success, is our partnership with the Department of Work and Pensions and Weston College on the Sector-based Workplace Academy Programme (SWAP).

This was highlighted in national media earlier this year through the story of Mark Catton, who was appointed through SWAP into an administration role at Yeovil Hospital, where he, and his guide dog Nathan, support the smooth running of the hospital – from answering requests for repairs to security and document filing.

And this month we learned that Mark and the trust have won the Adult Training Partnership Award at the annual Weston College business awards!

Both Mark and colleague Anna Taylor, our workforce project coordinator, collected the award which was held at Weston-Super-Mare's prestigious Winter Gardens.

The event brought together 250 distinguished guests for an inspiring celebration of learners and local employers who have worked closely with the college to offer work-placed opportunities to people taking their first steps in their career.

“I was surprised we won an award for the second year in a row because of the impressive pool of talent there was in the room,” says Anna.

“We had our fingers crossed, our hearts were pounding, and to hear the words ‘winner for Adult Training Partnership goes to - Somerset NHS Foundation Trust’ was electric for the team…it brought a tear to my eye!

“Our partnership and collaborative working is still shining through to our candidates and it’s evident we are unlocking skills and potential for them to be able to work in our trust.”

Speaking to the media about his new lease of life, Mark said: “I feel so privileged to have got this job for so many reasons, it has been so incredibly wonderful to work here, and of course, I couldn’t have made it without the help of the SWAP team.

“My life has been changed so very much and all in such an unbelievable way – I’m now enjoying life and work.

“This has been such a big change in my life, from being way down there on the scrapheap to seeing this opportunity opening up. I’m so thankful to my colleagues for being so supportive.

“I’m loving life to the fullest and want to say a huge thank you to the SWAP team for turning my life around!”

Interim principal of the Weston College Group, Jacqui Ford, adds: “It was fantastic to celebrate and showcase not only the exceptional talent and dedication of our learners, but also the invaluable support and collaboration of our esteemed employer network, at the Weston College Business Awards.

"The overwhelming number of nominations we received is a testament to the high standards and relentless commitment demonstrated by our learners. Each learner showed exceptional drive and ambition, making us immensely proud of their accomplishments.

“At Weston College we love working with employers that are as passionate as us, about creating brighter futures, and Somerset FT is the perfect example of that.

“We are also proud of Mark who has shown fantastic dedication and made significant contributions to Somerset FT - congratulations to both!”