The UK’s first medical ultrasound degree apprenticeship has launched at Sheffield Hallam University.
The country’s inaugural “earn and learn” route to becoming a medical sonographer arrives at the university at the same time as two other healthcare degree apprenticeships, with courses in diabetics and operating department practice also expected to see their first cohort of students.
The university say the new apprenticeships have been developed in conjunction with the NHS, professional bodies and the private sector in a bid enable employers to more effectively upskill their workforce, as the healthcare industry continues to suffer from labour shortages.
The NHS People Plan estimates that, by 2024, approximately 27,000 extra allied health professionals will be needed – Sheffield Hallam University is anticipating that over 250 degree apprenticeships will start on allied health courses in 2023.
Apprenticeship Lead for Allied Health Professions at Sheffield Hallam, Aimee France, said: “We’re already seeing the impact our apprentices are making on the workforce in allied health professions and these new courses have the potential to continue to drive the workforce forward.
“The apprentices will already be working in a clinical setting and are comfortable in the environment. They also don’t need to wait until they graduate to put their skills into practice which is beneficial for them and their employer.”
This is just the latest example of the university’s trailblazing tendencies in the degree apprenticeship field. The Yorkshire university became one of the earliest adopters of degree apprenticeships back in 2015, closely followed by the establishment of the National Centre of Excellence for Degree Apprenticeships at the university just three years later.
Sheffield Hallam also became the first university to offer degree apprenticeships in physiotherapy and occupational therapy in 2019 – today, the university boasts one of the most diverse degree apprenticeship offers in the entire country.