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Trainee nursing associate and management course up for awards


Student dressed in white nursing shirt stands with grass area at university behind

A nursing associate student and a supermarket chain’s training programme at the University of Bradford are finalists at an awards ceremony celebrating apprenticeships.

Faye Irving and Morrisons’ degree apprenticeship programme have been shortlisted at the West Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards

Faye, a finalist in the Health and Public Service Apprentice of the Year category, is combining her work as a trainee nursing associate on the paediatric ward at Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) with studying on the University of Bradford’s Nurse Associate Apprenticeship course. 

She was inspired to become a nursing associate and join the university’s two-year course in December 2022 following the death of her father Robert in February that year, after he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in September 2021.  

Faye previously worked in Bradford district special schools after graduating from the University of Bradford’s BA (Hons) Working with Young People and Families course in 2016. 

Faye, 30, said: “It’s nice to be nominated and recognised. Everyone on the ward has said it is amazing. 

“I will be thinking about my dad on the awards night. He would have been proud of me. 

“If my dad had not died, I would not have done the course. It shows that life is short. You need to do something that you want to do.”

Hille Halonen, Nursing Associate Programme Leader at the University of Bradford, said: “Faye approaches her apprenticeship as an opportunity to genuinely help others that are less fortunate than herself, and frequently demonstrates that she sees this opportunity as a privilege.”

A large group of students dressed in graduation gowns pose for photo outside university building

Meanwhile, Morrisons is a finalist in the Large Business Apprentice Employer of the Year category at the ceremony on Thursday 9 May. 

The University of Bradford has partnered with Morrisons to nurture talent through education since 2011. This has developed into a long-standing relationship through the university’s Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA) programme, which started in 2017. 

During the programme, apprentices attend the university in five-day blocks six times a year. The rest of their time is spent within the company, developing the skills needed of a chartered manager.  

Morrisons has more than 100 apprentices on the Level 6 CMDA programme at the university’s School of Management, based in four key schemes within the company of retail, corporate, logistics and manufacturing. 

Morrisons’ dedicated early careers team, which offers extra help, has worked with learners on apprenticeships for the last seven years. The CMDA programme has had 88 students achieve the apprenticeship to date with 48 per cent of them completing at a distinction. 

Professor Sankar Sivarajah, Dean of the School of Management at the University of Bradford, said: “The School of Management is proud to help develop the Morrisons employees of tomorrow through our long-running partnership which continues to be a huge success.”

Emma Cooksley, Early Careers Manager at Morrisons, said: “We’re delighted to have been named a finalist in the ‘Large Business Apprentice Employer of the Year’ category at the West Yorkshire Apprenticeship Awards. 

“Morrisons is committed to nurturing future leaders through a robust apprenticeship programme that bridges the gap between academic learning and practical experience.  

“It gives us enormous pride to watch our colleagues grow in confidence and performance in their roles throughout the three-year course and we’re thrilled to be doing it in partnership with the university as another Bradford-born business.”