One hundred apprentices have completed the mammography workforce apprenticeship.
The drive to boost the breast imaging workforce in England and address national staff shortages has reached an important milestone thanks to an apprenticeship programme.
One hundred mammography associates have recently qualified through the mammography associate apprenticeship, a programme launched in 2019 to address the need for standardised national training for assistant practitioners.
Lyndsay Kinnear, who led the trailblazer group of employers and organisations that created the apprenticeship, is pleased with the success the programme is having for employers.
She said: “Reaching this milestone, and with a further 70 plus mammography associates currently in training, shows how employers are embracing the role.
“The apprenticeship provides standardised training and assessment so breast units and screening services can be confident that mammography associates completing the apprenticeship have the competencies needed to add real value to their service.”
One employer to benefit from the apprenticeship is the breast screening unit at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust.
Joanne Hammond, its deputy superintendent radiographer for breast screening, said: “We have found the mammography associates to be a very loyal workforce. Radiographers are getting harder and harder to recruit so it’s useful to have the flexibility to bring in other types of staff and their varied backgrounds brings diversity to our team.
“We’ve had hairdressers, people from care homes, as well as those in screening admin roles joining the apprenticeship programme—their wide-ranging life experiences and age range bring fresh perspectives and provide new career opportunities for our local community that benefits us and our patients.”