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NHS join the race for Degree Apprenticeships

Wednesday 6 March 2019

APPRENTICESHIPS are not just popular in construction and engineering, demand for them is growing in less obvious settings like the NHS!

This week is National Apprenticeship Week (March 4 – 10) and hospitals and health providers are among the large organisations currently payinga levy into a pot for apprentice training.

The trend is for Degree Apprenticeships which are highly attractive for employers needing higher skills and individuals wanting the ‘gold standard’ of a degree.

Apprentices get on-the-job work experience while studying towards a Bachelors or Masters degree at the University of choice of their employer. They also earn a salary and do not need to pay tuition fees.


The University of Salford is offering 11 programmes to nearly 500 apprentices and one of the fastest growing is Biomedical Science with early adopters including Salford Royal Foundation Trust, Manchester Foundation Trust, Warrington and Halton NHS Trust.

Beth Carr, who is a medical laboratory assistant at Salford Royal based at Wigan, said: “I was considering doing the degree part-time already when the apprenticeship came up, so it was a no-brainer! I know my colleagues and managers well and knew that I wanted to progress within this lab.

“It's really hard work but rewarding, and I'm really behind apprenticeships, I think they're a really good way of progressing in this career.”

Queue of staff

Deborah Seddon, Haematology Manager at SRFT and Beth’s boss says she has a queue of staff awaiting their turn to enrol in the degree.

“This is a degree which is very specific for our career and the work-based experience is invaluable.

“The apprenticeship allows us to support our hard-working support staff in advancing their career. It also allows us to grow our own talent and have our own pool of staff to recruit from when vacancies arise.”

Currently around 50 employers ‘sponsor’ their people through Salford apprenticeships, with many more seeking to take advantage of the funds they set aside for training via the Apprenticeship Levy.


Organisations have until April 2019 to use their levy to upskill existing employees before they will start to lose any usused funds they have paid in on a monthly basis.

They can also use the Apprenticeships to attract recruit new talent to the business.

“Our team are here to guide employers through every step of the way to understand their obligations and to ensure their employees have the best possible experience,” says Adele Jones, Business Development Lead, University of Salford.

Find out more

Gareth Hollyman, Senior Press & PR Officer (Science)

0161 295 6895