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.
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 are relevant to the NHS.
“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!”
There are four levels of apprenticeships available:
Intermediate level apprentices follow work-based learning towards level 2 - equivalent to 5 GCSEs at grades A*. These apprenticeships provide the skills you need for your chosen career and allow entry to an advanced level apprenticeship.
Advanced level apprentices follow work-based learning towards level 3 - equivalent to 2 A-levels. 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 follow work-based learning towards levels 4,5,6 and 7 - equivalent to a foundation degree and above. To start this level of apprenticeship, you should ideally have 2 A-levels or have completed an advanced level apprenticeship.
Degree level apprentices follow work-based learning towards levels 6 and 7 - equivalent to a full bachelor's or master's degree.
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.”
If you are not quite ready for an apprenticeship, a
traineeship might be for you. A traineeship is designed for young people who
want to get a job and the skills and experience to boost their career
prospects. It will provide up to 6 months of work experience, work
preparation training, and English and maths support (if needed) to secure an
apprenticeship or other employment.
You could also speak to a trained careers adviser, or contact your local NHS trust to find out what’s on offer.