The government unveiled its plans for additional nursing apprenticeship funding to healthcare employers on August 10th – the Department of Health and Social Care explained the money will allow healthcare employers to take on up to 2,000 degree apprentices each year, over the next four years.
The hope is for the funding to make it more accessible for those interested in the healthcare profession to do so, offering an alternative to university courses for those who wish to pay as they learn and avoid expensive tuition fees.
The nursing apprenticeship usually takes four years whereby apprentices will become a fully qualified registered nurse. This boost in funding is said to help it deliver its target of 50,000 more nurses by 2024-25.
The Health Secretary Matt Hancock stated: ‘I’m thrilled to see a rising interest in nursing careers, but we must ensure this fantastic career is truly diverse and open to all. Nursing apprenticeships allow students to earn as they learn and this new funding will enable healthcare employers to hire thousands more, helping to delivery 50,0000 more nurses by the end of this parliament.’
Apprenticeships minister Gillian Keegan agreed the boost would be beneficial, allowing nurses to kick start their careers. She continued: ‘Nursing apprenticeships are a brilliant way to start a truly rewarding career with our fantastic NHS. Nurses are at the heart of our NHS and their care, compassion and support of patients save and transform lives across the country every day.’
The NHS and social care employers currently train around 1,000 nurse apprentices every year, however, not everyone agrees the boost will be enough. Mike Adams, the Royal College of Nursing’s director said a wider investment was needed to educate enough registered nurse.
You can read more about nursing apprenticeships here
Vacancies for nursing apprenticeships can be found here