Apprenticeships, at all levels, are a fantastic way to develop new or existing staff and a great way improve patient safety and quality of care. In supporting staff through an apprenticeship route an employer is able to show that they value their staff and are invested in their development. Apprenticeships enable GP surgeries to grow their own skilled, professional staff.
The NHS Leadership Academy have produced a guide Leadership Development for Primary Care: The potential of the apprenticeship scheme which contains some really useful information about the apprenticeship scheme, in particular:
- How to access the apprenticeship levy
- Apprenticeship standards
- Training providers
- How to access funded training
- Where to look for more information and advice
Until recently, small businesses such as GP surgeries had 90% of the educational fees for apprenticeships funded by the government, meaning GP surgeries only had to pay 10% of the educational fees. From April 2019, this funding increased to 95% meaning GP surgeries employing a new apprentice from April 2019 onwards, now only have to pay 5% of the educational fees. However, the employer remains responsible for paying the apprentices salary, including when they are on study days or external placements.
Healthcare Assistant (HCA)
Healthcare assistants employed in primary care can access a level 2 or 3 Apprenticeship in Healthcare. It is anticipated that in the future, the level 3 apprenticeship could allow the HCA to access a Nursing Associate Apprenticeship or Registered Nurse Apprenticeship.
Level 2: Healthcare Support Worker – Level 2 (12 months)
Level 3: Senior Healthcare Support Worker – Level 3 (18 months)
Nursing Associate (NA)
Nursing associate training involves undertaking a 2-year programme resulting in a foundation degree which, when successfully completed, allows registration on the appropriate part of the NMC register.
Level 5: Nursing Associate – Level 5 (2 years)
A Registered Nurse Apprenticeship involves undertaking a 3.5 to 4.5 year programme (depending on the training provider and the hours worked) resulting in a BSc, which, when successfully completed, allows registration on the appropriate part of the NMC register. This apprenticeship offers experienced HCAs from primary care the opportunity to become a registered nurse. Applicants for this apprenticeship will need to be professional, compassionate, caring and have all the essential qualities that the NMC Code demands of a registered nurse. This is a Level 6 degree apprenticeship with all the academic requirements of any other degree programme.
Level 6: Registered Nurse – Degree (NMC 2010) (3.5 to 4.5 years)
The following apprenticeships are accessible for administrative staff working in primary care settings.