Ministerial approval has been given for a degree apprenticeship standard to be developed for physiotherapy. Once developed and launched, this will enable people to combine working and studying as a way of entering the profession.
Apprenticeships could offer hundreds of young people a new route into physiotherapy
Approval was in January. Now a ‘trailblazer group’ will be set up to develop the standard, led by the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Sheffield Hallam University.
Meanwhile, a standard has been developed for an allied health professions (AHPs) therapy support worker apprenticeship, while interest is growing in how master’s level apprenticeships can enable post-registration role development in physiotherapy and other health professions.
New arrangements for apprenticeships, across all sectors, settings and occupations, come into effect in England in April. The apprenticeships agenda is also rising in the other UK countries, if with less emphasis on new structures and targets.
In England, employers are expected to offer three million new apprenticeships by 2020.
Organisations with more than 250 employees are due to ensure that 2.3 per cent of their workforce progresses through an apprenticeship.
In addition, specific targets are being set for the public sector, including the NHS. Employers with annual pay bills of more than £3 million will pay a new apprenticeship levy, with all employers able to draw on the levy fund to offer apprenticeships.
Employers are expected to define the skills they need, the workforce they require to deliver these skills, and new routes to develop their staff.
The new approach to apprenticeships is strongly relevant to physiotherapy, the CSP has said.
The CSP is seeking to influence developments, including to ensure high learning, professional and employment standards are upheld, and that potential risks are mitigated, said CSP assistant director Sally Gosling.
‘Asserting our role in setting and assuring high educational standards is essential to ensure that a future degree apprenticeship upholds graduate-level knowledge and skills and the depth and breadth of the profession’s practice,’ she said.
‘To safeguard this quality, we also need to ensure our education accreditation processes respond to changing needs.’
This news report published on 26 January was amended on 2 February.
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