Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes designed around the needs of employers, which lead to nationally recognised qualifications. In the NHS, primarily but not exclusively, they can be used to develop staff.
It's a bit of a myth that you choose a route of either university or an Apprenticeship, or Apprenticeships are for people who can't get into university. Apprenticeships are now available at a variety of levels up to, and including, degree level, in a wide variety of vocational areas, with more being developed all the time.
The huge benefit of undertaking an Apprenticeship is you can earn whilst you learn, and have no training or tuition fees to pay. In addition, you will gain a qualification and valuable experience in the workplace making you more attractive to future employers.
Apprenticeship Qualifications are available for existing staff, but they can also be utilised to encourage and recruit new staff into the Trust. The NHS is a well-respected and globally recognised employer. If you are successful in achieving the Apprenticeship, you may well be offered a permanent post within the team or the wider Trust.
See below for our current Apprenticeships or click here to download the Apprenticeships in Health Brochure.
- A well qualified, highly skilled and motivated workforce that meets the needs of existing and new patient pathways and service models, it can assist with role redesign.
- Attract talented people of all ages, apprenticeships can be undertaken by people from 16 years of age until retirement age.
- Greater staff retention through increased engagement and motivation, enhancement and recognition of skills. Opportunities for career progression and promotion.
- Improved productivity and performance, ultimately benefiting patients and service delivery.
- A long-term, ongoing solution to developing skilled staff, apprenticeships can be used as a route of progression.
- A good way to engage with local communities and boost local economy, encouraging local people into our organisation, working with local training providers.
Apprenticeships can be undertaken by both new and existing employees. They can be used to embark on a career path or to progress. Anyone who is a resident in the UK, over 16 and not in full-time education can undertake an apprenticeship, there is no age limit. There are several levels of apprenticeship now available.
- Intermediate Level Apprenticeships (equivalent to 5 good GCSE grades A*-C/9 – 4)
- Advanced Level Apprenticeships (equivalent to two A-level passes)
- Higher Level Apprenticeships (equivalent to a foundation degree)
- Degree Level Apprenticeships
- Masters Degree Level Apprenticeships
An individual cannot undertake an Apprenticeship which would duplicate previous learning i.e. they do not have a qualification in the same Vocational area at the same or at a higher level. They can undertake a qualification at a lower level that one they have already attained as long as this rule is fulfilled.
Example 1: Someone achieved a Degree in History - they can undertake a Healthcare Support Worker Intermediate Apprenticeship.
Example 2: Someone achieved a Medical Administration Advanced Apprenticeship – they couldn’t undertake a Business Administration Apprenticeship at Intermediate or Advanced level.
There are many different types of apprenticeships available; many used in the wider economy are also relevant to the NHS, such as:
- Business Administration and IT
- Team Leading and Management
- Customer Service
- Engineering and Maintenance.
In addition, there are also apprenticeships specific to the Healthcare environment:
- Healthcare Support Services
- Healthcare Support Worker
- Healthcare Science
- Operating Department Practice
- Associate Nurse
- Registered Nurse
- ... more in development.
Most job roles in the NHS will have a relevant apprenticeship available to underpin the development of staff in that role. To find out if there is one available for the roles in your work area contact the Workforce Transformation Team on 01952 641222 Ext 2956/4828
All vacancies for an Apprenticeship post are advertised on the Trust recruitment website: www.belongtosomething.co.uk in addition to the Government ‘Find an Apprenticeship’ website: https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship.
Entry requirements for specific Apprenticeships are set by the Employer and the Training Provider depending on the qualification being undertaken. Each Job Advert will contain a Person Specification outlining what these requirements are and will also contain the Job Description explaining what the role entails. The duration of the Apprenticeship and the salary is also included in the advert.
An Apprenticeship is based on an approved new Apprenticeship Standard or an old Apprenticeship Framework (these will be replaced by Standards before 2021) all approved Apprenticeship Standards can be seen on-line at: https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/
The Standard outlines the requirements needing to be fulfilled to achieve the Apprenticeship including:
- The values and behaviours to be demonstrated
- The skills and knowledge to be demonstrated; which could be underpinned by an assessment, a competence based qualification or an academic qualification.
- The level of numeracy and literacy skills to be achieved.
Culminating with an end point endpointt which could include a 1:1 interview, an observation in the workplace or a written examination.
The training period for an apprenticeship can be as little as 12 months, however for the more complex apprenticeships e.g. Engineering or Healthcare Science it can be 3 or 4 years. The Institute of Apprenticeships sets a suggested time (duration) in which to achieve each specific qualification based on a working week of 30+ hours.
Since 2017 there has been a requirement set by Government for any Apprenticeship to incorporate 20% ‘off the job’ training. This is logged and can include:
- The teaching of theory (for example, lectures, role playing, simulation exercises, online learning, manufacturer training).
- Workplace continuous professional development (CPD) e.g. fire awareness, tool box talks, information governance.
- Secondments to other departments/other organisations to learn alternative skills/methods (must be a different experience to the normal working practice)
- Opportunities to undertake projects or additional tasks beyond the job description which extends learning.
- Practical training; shadowing; mentoring; industry visits.
- Learning support and time spent writing assessments/assignments.
Off-the-job training does not include:-
- English and maths (up to Level 2).
- Progress reviews or on-programme assessment.
- Training which takes place outside normal working hours (cannot count towards the 20% off-the-job training unless time in lieu is given)
As a guide the 20% off-the-job training can be supported by:
- Time within each working day
- Time concentrated into 1 day each week.
- Blocks of training throughout the Apprenticeship
- A combination of methods
Example – NHS Apprentice works 37.5 hours per week over 5 days. 20% OJT - 20% of 37.5hours = 7.5 hours per week or 1.5 hours per day.
The total requirement over the whole of the apprenticeship is calculated at the start.
Many qualifications require minimal time out of the workplace with much of the learning taking place in the department learning the new skills and knowledge required for the role alongside colleagues, supervisors or managers. A trainer from the training provider guides the Apprentice in their learning.
Some qualifications require attendance at workshops to provide theoretical input, some require weekly attendance at a college or training providers site, some are tested using formal exams. The time out of the workplace should be indicated by the training provider before the qualification commences.
Since April 2017 all large employers have paid an Apprenticeship Levy collected through the Employment & Skills Funding Agency, this money is available to fund Apprenticeship training programmes, it does not fund salaries.
Each Apprenticeship is allocated to a funding band, identifying the maximum that can be funded through the Levy. The employer signs an Apprenticeship Agreement with their chosen Approved Training Provider to deliver the Apprenticeship, a proportion of the funds are transferred on a monthly basis from the Employers Levy fund to the Training Provider electronically. If an Apprentice has a period of long-term sickness or maternity leave the transfer can be suspended until they return, if they leave employment or their work role changes significantly the payment can be stopped.
Our live Apprenticeships will be displayed below. Or if you have any questions about apprenticeships email email@example.com or contact Judith or Tracy (below):
Judith Tudor, Workforce Transformation Manager, 01952 641222 Ext 2956. firstname.lastname@example.org
Tracy Newbold, Pre-employment Advisor, 01952 641222 via Ext 4828. email@example.com