Apprenticeships provide routes into a variety of careers in the NHS and are an excellent opportunity to earn, gain work experience and achieve nationally recognised qualifications at the same time.
What is available?
Apprenticeships are offered by individual NHS employers (such as trusts) as well as other non-NHS employers and organisations in many different areas of work. Below are some examples of apprenticeships that could be relevant to the NHS.
- Administration and human resources
- Electrical and engineering
- Financial services
- Hospitality and catering
- Communications and marketing
- Public services (including clinical support work, dental nursing, health and social care and pharmacy)
I’ve learned so much, I’m getting paid and I’m getting my qualifications at the same time. I’ve such a good career ahead of me. You can’t get better than that!
Beth, pharmacy technician apprentice
There are three levels of apprenticeships available:
Intermediate level apprenticeships
Intermediate level apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as an NVQ Level 2, Key Skills and, in some cases, a relevant knowledge-based qualification such as a BTEC. These provide the skills you need for your chosen career and allow entry to an advanced level apprenticeship.
Advanced level apprenticeships
Advanced level apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as NVQ Level 3, Key Skills and, in most cases, a relevant knowledge-based certificate such as a BTEC. To start this level of apprenticeship, you should ideally have five GCSEs (grade C or above) or have completed an intermediate level apprenticeship.
Higher level Apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as NVQ Level 4 and, in some cases, a knowledge-based qualification such as a foundation degree.
What happens at the end of the apprenticeship?
You may be offered permanent employment at the end of the apprenticeship period. You can also search for job vacancies on the NHS Jobs website. Some apprenticeships also allow you to gain UCAS points and can lead onto a university course. You should always check with the organisation that provides your apprenticeship for details.
I’m very well supported. I get a wage and my employer pays for my course and all my tools and uniform. I am really enjoying the challenge and feel very excited about the amount of knowledge I am gaining through work and study.
Ben, apprentice in engineering
You could also speak to a trained careers adviser, or contact your local NHS trust to find out what’s on offer