One male and two female doctors with patient

NHS to build more diverse workforce as new apprentice funding confirmed

Health Education England (HEE) has made “an important step” in the road to making careers in medicine more accessible, as it announces that the first 200 trainee doctor apprenticeships have received funding.

The new Medical Doctor Degree Apprenticeship looks to forge an alternative pathway into medicine, ultimately building a more diverse, sustainable workforce and giving more people opportunities.

The HEE investment will help healthcare employers to meet the costs of onboarding and educating apprentices, as the first cohort of apprentices venture into medicine over the next two years.

The scheme has been developed by employers and medical schools in conjunction with HEE and other sector partners and enables trainees to get paid whilst they learn, which could benefit those who would struggle to pursue more traditional further education routes like university courses.

Professor Liz Hughes, Medical Director for undergraduate education at HEE, said: “I am delighted with the announcement of this new funding to enable healthcare employers to deliver up to 200 more doctors to grow our domestic pipeline in a way that supports widening access and participation as well as encouraging employment within hard to recruit areas. 

“This funding boost will help to support hundreds of apprentices to gain the skills they need and earn while they learn.

“HEE looks forward to working with pilot partners to support the implementation of this apprenticeship. HEE will support employers to develop innovative models for delivering this apprenticeship and share lessons learned from existing healthcare apprenticeships.”

As much as £50,000 will be made available to employers for each apprentice, supplementing both the apprenticeship funding and the usual support medical schools get for each apprentice placement.

Em Wilkinson-Brice, national director for people at NHS England, said: “This funding will provide a welcome boost to the workforce and also opens up participation in medicine, making careers more accessible, and helping build a sustainable workforce for the future. We are delighted to support HEE and our other partners in harnessing the benefits of this scheme for patients across the country.”

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