LEWES MP Maria Caulfield and Hove’s MP Peter Kyle visited the University of Brighton to meet Nursing Associate apprentices and their employers.

The apprentices demonstrated their clinical skills to Ms Caulfield, who is a practicing nurse as well as Conservative MP for Lewes, and Mr Kyle, who is Labour MP for Hove and Portslade.

Professor Debra Humphris, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Brighton and a former nurse, also attended the event at the University’s Falmer campus.

Nursing Associate is a new role within the NHS.

The University of Brighton is currently training 141 Nursing Associates for local employers including NHS trusts.

They will bridge a gap between Nursing Assistants and Registered Nurses to deliver additional hands-on care.

Speaking about the importance of the apprenticeships, Maria Caulfield said: “When I was nursing I met many healthcare assistants who would have made fantastic nurses but were too afraid to go to college, couldn’t afford to or thought they had reached a certain age where studying was over for them.

“So to see people who have extensive clinical experience taking on new roles is really exciting.”

Peter Kyle is a long-standing champion of apprenticeships as a means to improve social mobility.

Mr Kyle said: “What I’ve seen here today is deeply exciting and new, and is something we should be celebrating. The apprenticeship route is throwing open the door to unlock potential in a way that has been ignored for far too long.”

Apprentice Peggy Jane Murrell showed Mr Kyle how to perform venepuncture.