WARRINGTON and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has pledged to ‘home grow’ more of its workforce.

The trust has signed a 'memorandum of understanding' which will see it work in partnership with Warrington and Vale Royal College to train an increasing number of people from the area to work in clinical and non-clinical roles.

It is hoped that the scheme – the latest such academic partnership between the hospital and universities, colleges and schools – will give residents, from school leavers to university graduates, greater access to jobs within the trust.

Trust chief executive Mel Pickup said: "We have launched our new strategy and have committed to being an employer of choice, with a specific people pledge that states we will be the best place to work with a diverse, engaged workforce that is fit for the future.

"This memorandum is an important step in ensuring that we can access and develop local talent required for our future workforce.

"We offer so many apprenticeship, volunteering and job opportunities that are both clinical and non-clinical.

"There really is something for everyone as part of our team."

Representatives of the trust and college will now join each other’s council of governors, with either body to be represented as partner governor.

Warrington and Vale Royal College principal Nichola Newton added: "Our partnership will develop opportunities that will meet the needs of learners on a range of programmes – enabling them to participate in high quality and realistic work place experiences, including apprenticeships, traineeships and supported internships.

"The college will ensure that learners are prepared for workplace experience through promoting the high expectations of the trust, ensuring that our local NHS has committed and motivated learners in the workplace who could be considered viable candidates for future employment within the trust on successful completion of their study."