Emergency care apprenticeship: a new pathway

Apprenticeships, nothing new?Apprenticeships are not new but have changed their shape and content several times over the years. The need to train school leavers and re-train adults is ever present—it is the funding of this which has been the main challenge.The author can just about recall apprenticeship programmes running in the 1970s, or rather running out of steam as the UK's traditional industries such as manufacturing went into decline. Then, those wishing to learn a trade followed programmes of training approved by industrial training boards (forerunners of the current sector, skills councils), on a pittance for three years, until they qualified—so-called ‘time served’. In return, employers running apprenticeships were exempt from paying a levy to their training board.‘This is the first new non-higher education qualification for emergency mbulance staff since the driving qualification was formalized in 1995’In the 1980s, with the exception of a few industries, apprenticeships gave way to government funded training schemes, such as youth and adult training schemes.These schemes, however, were time limited (12 months) and lacked a tangible outcome such as a qualification. Some critics viewed the schemes as nothing more than a crude form of wage subsidy with the added bonus of suppressing unemployment figures.Over the years, there have been many government schemes to support and reward training, most recently train to gain (rewarding the achievement of national vocational qualifications, NVQs) and apprenticeships.The most significant development in recent years however, has been the Leitch Review of 2006, which undertook a fundamental review of vocational training in the UK (Leich Review of Skills, 2006).

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