The NHS plans to address staff shortages by launching a post-A level apprenticeship scheme that would allow one in 10 doctors and a third of nurses to start work without a traditional medical degree. The scheme, which could begin this autumn, is part of a wider workforce strategy aimed at finding new ways to train and recruit healthcare workers. The “medical doctor degree apprenticeship” would involve the same training and standards as traditional education routes, with the key difference being that apprentice medics will be put on the wards almost immediately, working under supervision and being paid. Amanda Pritchard, the head of the NHS, said: “This radical new approach could see tens of thousands of school-leavers becoming doctors and nurses or other key healthcare roles, after being trained on the job over the next 25 years.” However, some medics have raised concerns that the scheme could create a “two-tier system,” with apprentice degrees being seen as “lesser.”
HR Comment: NHS plans apprenticeship scheme for doctors and nurses
Matthew Pinto-Chilcott, FCIPD, ACEL, Owner of Consensus HR comments: “This is a very interesting new way of filling the current gaps that exist within the NHS in general at the moment and we are all for, finding new ways to develop employees with the skills required for the role but past experience has shown that Apprenticeships dependent on the business you work for can have varying ranges of success. This will need to be managed correctly and not used as a way to get professional NHS workers on the cheap as it could end up as an hinderance to the rest of the NHS team and patients rather than a help! Apprenticeships are a great scheme if the business owners and management teams ensure they are correctly developed in the Apprentices chosen areas with the skills experience and qualifications required to fulfil the role going forward.
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