National Apprenticeship Week 2021

Posted: 08/02/21

Welcome to our ‘Meet the Team’ series. As part of National Apprenticeships Week, we’re introducing the CNTW apprenticeships team. Running from 8th-14th February, the week aims to shine a light on the amazing work being done by employers and apprentices across the country.

If you would like to share what your team do, please email

The apprenticeships team works within CNTW Academy, offering career development advice about apprenticeships and other accredited programmes to members of staff. They also have an annual programme of recruitment aimed at 16 to 24 year olds joining the organisation as apprentices.

Usually the team works with over 40 schools and colleges across the region to provide young people with information and advice about NHS careers. Due to the pandemic, this is now being done virtually through online careers events.

Supporting apprentices is an important part of the team’s job. Progression Coach and Mentor, Connor Massey, supports all apprentices with frequent meetings, reviews and support into permanent employment. All staff on the team hold qualifications in Information, Advice and Guidance, ensuring apprentices receive the level of support they need.

Recruitment for apprentices into teams happens all year round, depending on need. The team regularly keeps in contact with workplace managers to ensure continuity of apprenticeship placements. Support, requirements and information about individual programmes is available via a Manager’s Handbook.

The team also works very closely with NTW Solutions, who the team says have always been “very proactive with supporting new apprentices”. They also work with a range of training providers from across the country and are supported by Health Education England and the North East Apprenticeship Ambassador Network.

Annette Connor, Apprenticeships and Career Development Lead, said: “Without the support and commitment of departments across the organisation, we wouldn’t be able to provide opportunities for apprentices and the programme wouldn’t be the success that it has grown to be.”

For the team, the best part is knowing that 98% of those recruited externally into an apprenticeship went on to a job or further training.

Apprenticeships and Career Development Officer, David Burnett, said: “Seeing how our ongoing support results in developing people’s career pathways gives us a real sense of pride.”

While working in the apprenticeships team is extremely rewarding, there are also challenges. The team of four have recruited 372 apprentices over the past year covering a wide geographical area, which can bring challenges.

The team have had to adapt their offer because of the pandemic and have been supporting apprentices remotely. Despite these challenges, the team have continued to recruit external apprentices, including the first Customer Service placements in North Cumbria.

When asked where they feel they have made a difference, the team said they’re most proud of the apprentice ‘matching days’.

In partnership with clinical administration services and recruitment, the apprenticeships team have created a ‘matching day’ process to give apprentices in Customer Service and Business Administration the opportunity to gain employment without going through a formal application process. The process allows managers to meet apprentices in an informal setting to talk about their work experience and qualifications to ascertain if they’re a good match for the vacancy.

If you’d like advice in regards to particular apprenticeship programmes or if you’d like to enquire about enhancing your career via development opportunities which require on-the-job training and classroom learning, please contact our dedicated Apprenticeship and Career Developments Team via


Meet the Team:

Annette Connor
Apprenticeship and Career Development Lead
CNTW Academy, St. Nicholas Hospital

Mobile: 07770967395


Connor Massey
Progression Coach and Mentor
CNTW Academy, St. Nicholas Hospital

Mobile: 07534 927980


Marc House
Head of CNTW Academy
CNTW Academy, St. Nicholas Hospital

Mobile: 07795366721


David Burnett
Apprenticeship and Career Development Officer
CNTW Academy, St. Nicholas Hospital

Mobile: 07387051256


Gayle Hennessey
Centre and Contract Manager
CNTW Academy, St. Nicholas Hospital

Mobile: 07976125324