Sodexo has awarded a grant to London Ambulance Service worth £300,000 to fund the training of 10 paramedics and three new emergency ambulance crew.
Large businesses such as facilities management and catering firm Sodexo can gift up to 25 per cent of their apprenticeship levy funds to help other organisations fund apprenticeship courses.
The donation follows Sodexo posting on LinkedIn during National Apprenticeship Week last February that it will donate £800,000 a year to benefit SME organisations.
London Ambulance Service (LAS) applied for the grant to help them develop and recruit further medics.
The funding, made through the apprenticeship levy transfer scheme, will help London Ambulance Service support the training of more external and internal candidates through their Associate Ambulance Practitioner and paramedic apprenticeship courses.
Apprentices enrolled on these will learn new on the job skills while working alongside qualified experienced LAS clinicians with the support of practice educators.
Sue Davison, Head of Apprenticeships at Sodexo, said: “All those working within our NHS carry out hugely important work and we are enormously pleased that the London Ambulance Service approached us and asked for help in this way.
“We are committed to the apprenticeship scheme and encourage all of our colleagues in Sodexo to further their development and boost their careers through this, but we also gift a percentage of our levy to organisations that help others and the London Ambulance Service more than fits that role.”
Stuart Winters, Sodexo’s CEO for Healthcare, added: “Sodexo has always seen the value that developing our people brings to individuals, their teams, our clients and our organisation.
“Apprenticeship levy gifting gives us the opportunity to proactively support other organisations who could benefit from apprenticeship training and helping an organisation as important as the London Ambulance Service means a great deal to us.
“We wish their new apprentices every success in their careers and are proud that this training will deliver real social value for the NHS, patients and local communities.”
Dr John Martin, Chief Paramedic and Quality Officer for London Ambulance Service, said: “At London Ambulance Service we have a multitude of different routes for those wishing to start a career in healthcare. Our apprenticeship programmes offer staff and external candidates an accessible option to progress their skills on the frontline. Each course ensures those enrolled achieve the same high standard of teaching as those taking the degree route, whilst gaining valuable clinical experience responding to Londoners in need.
“We look forward to developing and training even more talented individuals across the capital with the extra support from Sodexo."
To date, Sodexo had gifted more than £1 million overall to fund 106 apprenticeships to help other organisations across the UK. It has also set aside £100,000 for the Salford skills for business fund as one of its largest UK bases is there.
The firm is a passionate advocate of apprenticeships and proactively encourages its employees to consider them for personal development and as a way of addressing identified skill gaps.
Sodexo ensures it is ‘gifting with purpose’ to employers that share the company’s ethos when it comes to health and safety and ensuring their workforce is diverse and inclusive.
Earlier this year, Sodexo launched its Social Impact Pledge, which included a commitment to contributing to the economic, social and environmental development of the cities, regions and countries in which it works.
Gifting apprentice funding to the London Ambulance Service helps Sodexo achieve this. You can find out more about the Social Impact Pledge here.
The ambulance service offers a multitude of different routes for external and internal candidates to develop or start a career in healthcare. For more information on the different apprenticeship opportunities visit the London Ambulance Service website.
Photo courtesy of London Ambulance Service.