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Apprenticeships in the healthcare sector

There are a large number of apprenticeships designed for clinical and non-clinical roles in the health sector. Apprenticeships enable young people and adult learners to earn while they learn, gaining job-specific skills, a qualification and improved prospects for the future.


Apprentices must be aged 16 or over and will usually work for at least 30 hours per week (except in extenuating circumstances).

Lasting a minimum of 12 months, apprenticeships typically combine on-the-job training with additional lessons taking place at an educational institution.

Apprenticeships are available at intermediate, advanced, higher and degree levels. This enables employers to select the most relevant standard for specific job roles, dependent on the apprentice’s experience, and, where possible, provide a clearly defined progression pathway.

Visit Healthcare Apprenticeship Standards Online (HASO) to search for and download Apprenticeship standards that are currently approved and ready to use. You can also track standards still in development and submit suggestions for new apprenticeships that aren’t listed.

Healthcare Apprenticeships

Some of the clinical and technical apprenticeships available for the health sector are listed below. The links will take you to the relevant Skills Funding Agency's apprenticeship guide.

There are also many non-clinical apprenticeships relevant to the health sector. These include:

You can find further information about becoming an apprentice and apprenticeship vacancies on the Skills Funding Agency's apprenticeships website. Additionally, the NHS health careers website contains information on training courses and job opportunities.

Benefits for employers

Employers embrace apprenticeships for a variety of reasons:

  • to maintain or improve future skill levels in the organisation
  • to improve product or service quality
  • to improve productivity
  • to improve staff retention and morale
  • and to bring new ideas into the organisation.

For an insight into an apprenticeship in action, watch this video case study from Crawcrook Medical Practice:

Browse our other case studies to see how healthcare employers across the public, private and voluntary sectors have benefited from taking on apprentices.

The Apprenticeship Levy

In April 2017, the government reformed apprenticeship funding by launching the Apprenticeship Levy. Fees are paid by all private and public sector employers in the UK with annual wage bills of more than £3 million. Levy-paying organisations are then able to access the new fund via a Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) account.

You can find government guidance on the Apprenticeship Levy here. Employers not contributing to the levy can continue to access government funding to support apprenticeships.

Traditionally, levy paying employers were not able to transfer levy funds to any other organisation and were only able to use levy funds to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment (with an approved provider and assessment organisation, up to its funding band maximum). It was not possible to use the levy funds for wages travel or subsidiary costs, managerial costs, work placements, traineeships, or set up costs for an apprenticeship programme. However, changes are on the horizon as from 1st April 2018, levy paying companies can transfer 10% of their levy funds to Apprenticeship Training Agencies, which means you can discuss with us and use us to support your apprenticeship ‘levy’ needs.

From the 1st May, 2017 the new funding rules for apprenticeships came into operation. View the new funding rules here. Employers need to be aware of the changes which include:

  • The Apprenticeship Training Agency will use levy funds or co-investment to meet the cost of apprenticeship training. (Employer co-investment para E115).
  • Additional payments will be made to employers who employ a 16-18 year old or a 19-24 year old with an Education Health Care Plan (para E71-E77).
  • Employers with less than 50 employers who employ a 16-18 year old, or a 19-24 year old with an Education Health Care Plan, will receive 100% of the cost of apprenticeship training (para E78-81).

Thinking of hiring an apprentice, but not sure where to start?

The National Skills Academy for Health is the leading advisory board on healthcare apprenticeships, and our expert team can provide guidance on developing organisation-wide apprenticeship strategies. They will help you identify which programmes are best suited to you, advise on funding and grants to help stretch your training budget, and ensure you secure the best training provision through our network of quality-assured providers.

If you are considering becoming a registered apprenticeship provider, whether for your own staff or others, we can support you to make that transition, ensuring you have the processes and expertise in-house to deliver the best quality training.

We can also recruit, employ and manage apprentices on your behalf through our Apprenticeship Training Agency (ATA). This service enables you to benefit from hosting an apprentice within your organisation but, as the apprentice is employed by the ATA, we will take care of any HR issues, performance management and payroll administration.

For more information on our services, please visit our one-stop shop for healthcare apprenticeships.