The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Ellie Caton named Apprentice of the Year as LTHT makes Top 100 employers list

1 August 2022

Ellie Caton, who recently completed an apprenticeship at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT), has won Apprentice of the Year in the Health & Public Service category at the West Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards 2022.

Ellie’s award coincides with LTHT being recognised in the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers leaderboard for 2022, published in June by the Department of Education. The leaderboard celebrates those employers in the country running the most successful apprenticeship schemes.

Ellie started her apprenticeship at 22 years’ old in January 2021, when the Trust was facing the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Ellie worked on the very frontline of the fight in the Intensive Care Unit, where she worked long 12-hour shifts, often as the only member of administrative staff on the unit. Thanks to her courage and determination, Ellie became a much-valued member of the team.Ellie Caton

After five months on the Intensive Care Unit, the severity of the ongoing challenges made Ellie reconsider her role. Rather than giving up, Ellie changed her placement so she could complete her apprenticeship within a different department instead. At the halfway point in her programme Ellie found herself practically starting again, having to learn several complicated new systems and work alongside a brand new team in Medical Deployment.

Despite this, Ellie adapted fantastically well to her new role, picking up the tasks required quickly and confidently, helping to ensure medical staffing levels stayed safe at the Trust’s hospitals. She then went on to complete the Customer Service Practitioner Apprenticeship, run by Leeds City College, which she passed with Distinction in April this year.

Ellie was delighted with her award, saying: “I am so grateful for the experience I’ve had over the course of my apprenticeship. I’ve learned so much and got to know many different people in roles across the organisation. I’ve now started in a permanent role with the Medical Deployment team which I really enjoy. While it’s been tough at times, I can’t recommend an apprenticeship with LTHT more – it gives you paid on the job learning and is a great start for your career. I’m so pleased with my award and I look forward to where my career takes me next.”

The new Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers leaderboard of outstanding apprenticeship employers for 2022 was published June, with LTHT coming in at number 62. The leaderboard showcases the very best of England’s apprenticeship employers, with those listed recognised for providing some of the most successful apprenticeship programmes over the previous 12 months.

Apprentices make up 4.3% of LTHT’s workforce and over 2021-22 more than 400 new apprentices started their programmes at the organisation.

Jenny Lewis, Director of HR and Organisational Development at LTHT, said: “LTHT is one of the biggest employers in Leeds, with over 20,000 staff across seven hospitals on our five sites. Our apprenticeship programmes make a significant contribution to the recruitment and retention of our people. Being recognised as one of the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers in England really underlines the emphasis we place on growing our talent through our apprenticeships. It means LTHT is on the map as a high-quality destination for career opportunities.”

Jenny added: “I want to say a huge congratulations to Ellie for winning her award. It’s a real tribute to all her hard work and effort over the course of an incredibly challenging apprenticeship. Ellie is a true asset to our Medical Deployment team and I wish her the very best as she sets out on her career.”

Leeds Teaching Hospitals currently employees over 800 apprentices over 50 different apprenticeship programmes. LTHT won the CIPD award for Best Apprenticeship Scheme in 2021, and was Highly Commended at the Yorkshire and Humber Apprenticeship Awards also that year.

The West Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards celebrate and recognise the hardworking individuals and organisations involved in apprenticeships and how they shape the future of the region. The inaugural West Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards ceremony was held in June in Bradford.

First launched in 2020, the Top 100 annual employer rankings have been developed by the Department of Education, in partnership with High Fliers Research, who independently assess and rank the nation’s top apprenticeship employers. The rankings recognise employer for their commitment to employing apprentices, their creation of new apprenticeships, the diversity of their new apprentices, and the number of apprentices who complete their apprenticeships and progress further with the employer.

With close to a million active apprenticeships across England alone, apprenticeship schemes have fast become a route to future employment and careers for thousands of school leavers and developing the skills of staff already in the workplace.