Workforce and Training

10.08.20

Government commits £172m funding package for nursing apprentices

A new government funding package worth up to £172m has been outlined to help double the number of nursing apprentices in England, as the health service works towards its ambitious goal of delivering 50,000 more nurses by the end of the current Parliament.

The new funding will allow healthcare employers to take on up to 2,000 new nursing degree apprentices each year for the next four years.

Interest in health careers has surged recently, with statistics showing the number of people looking for information on nursing on the NHS careers website rising by 138% between March and June.

Nursing degree apprenticeships offer a route into the nursing profession where people can train to nationally-recognised standards while earning alongside their studies, benefitting those for whom a full-time university course is either not practical or preferred.

In response to the newly-announced funding package, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “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 us to deliver 50,000 more nurses by the end of this Parliament.

Gillian Keegan, Apprenticeships and Skills Minister, added: “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.

This multi-million-pound funding boost will help to support thousands of apprentices to gain the skills they need and earn while they learn. Apprenticeships are an excellent way for anyone, regardless of their background, to kick start their career or to progress.”

NHS and other healthcare employers are set to receive £8,300 per placement per year for both new and existing apprenticeships. Nursing degree apprentices already receive a salary and have their tuition costs paid for through the apprenticeship programme. The funding will enable employers to meet the costs of taking on apprentices, including staffing costs while apprentices are undertaking education and training.

The nursing degree apprenticeship is a four year course with placements available in the 4 fields of adult, children, mental health and learning disability, after which students can qualify as fully registered nurses. NHS and social care employers currently train around 1,000 nurse apprentices every year.

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