As part of National Apprenticeship Week, the CSP’s Abigail Henderson looks at what they are and what they offer individuals, employers, and local populations.
Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes that offer structured career development to individuals who can ‘earn as they learn’.
For employers, they provide the potential to address workforce gaps or skills shortages through improving supply and retention, whilst also diversifying their workforce which benefits the populations they serve.
We have seen recent growth in the number and type of apprenticeships that are available to support the development of our physiotherapy workforce, from support worker through to advanced practice level, reflecting the value placed upon apprenticeships.
So what’s coming next for apprenticeships?
We anticipate and welcome a growth in institutions offering the degree apprenticeship route particularly. However, we must be mindful that key to the success of any innovation is how it is implemented to ensure quality and evaluated to show impact.
We must be sure the aspirations of the apprenticeship model, particularly around diversity, workforce growth and retention come to fruition. I’d urge all those supporting apprentices to consider how they are collecting and sharing data to demonstrate this including retention rates and return on investment data.
But we are aware that whilst the offer in England is strong, there are limited apprenticeship offers in the devolved nations. The CSP believes the apprenticeship model could offer real opportunity for workforce growth and diversification in these countries. We are actively seeking discussions around apprenticeship policy across the UK.
Finally, congratulations to all who have successfully completed an apprenticeship. It is not an easy route, balancing work, education and other priorities.
And thank you to those who have supported them to do so. Without our HEI’s and leaders working to innovate and secure these opportunities in financially-constrained contexts and our workplace mentors supporting learners in practice, apprenticeships in physiotherapy simply would not happen
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