Passionate people are wanted to spark enthusiasm for a career in the NHS among school students.

Education manager, Leanne Chaney, is leading the apprenticeship programme at the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust, and has already talked to more than 1,000 14 to 18 year-olds about the opportunities in the NHS in the past few weeks.

There are currently five schools working with Royal Free London including Whitefield School, Hendon School and London Academy, which were all visited by Leanne who met with students to discuss career opportunities in the NHS.

“The students were really surprised that there are jobs in the NHS beyond being a doctor, nurse or midwife. It was fantastic to see the excitement at their own futures and career options available to them,” she said.

Leanne is looking for staff who enjoy their jobs to come and chat to students about their career choices and highlight the diverse opportunities available from business administration and nursing assistants to working as a chef or in human resources.

“Schools are really keen to hear from people in different roles in the NHS and it’s a small time commitment of an hour once a year. I think young people get a bad press and I have to admit I was nervous when I first went into a school. But the students are so positive and full of energy that it actually motivated me in my own role and I came away really enthused. It’s such a positive thing to do,” she said.

The Royal Free is working with schools across Camden, Barnet and Enfield to make pupils aware of the apprenticeships available at the trust.

In 2016 there were 61 apprenticeships offered at the Royal Free and this year there will be more than 100 apprenticeships available to new and existing staff.

The trust has a target to offer 200 apprenticeships every year by 2020.

Tia Miles, finance apprentice, started an apprenticeship as a school leaver in September 2015.  She said: “I was searching for a finance apprenticeship online when I came across the role and I was surprised to see a job in a hospital and I thought that’s cool and quite different.

“A 100 per cent I am going to tell everyone to do an apprenticeship. I was set up to succeed with the support around me and I am confident I will do well. I also have a head start on my friends who went to university who are just getting their careers going.”

Shanice Sutton, also a finance apprentice hopes to get a permanent position when her apprenticeship ends in six months when she’ll qualify as an accounts technician.

“Apprenticeships are the way forwards. I’m in a great position as I have lots of practical experience and I could go on to train as a chartered accountant. I also have no debt,” she said.

The apprenticeships are part of Talent for Care, a national framework set up in 2013 and funded by Health Education England.

Leanne would like to hear from staff who would like to do talks in schools. For more information contact