Are you looking to expand your workforce?

Are you keen to develop and retain your existing Staff?

Apprenticeships may be a valuable and viable option for your Practice or PCN to unlock the potential in your staff and recruit new people with a passion for working within the healthcare sector.

If you are looking for a productive and effective way to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled, and qualified workforce then Apprenticeships may be your next step. As well as enabling you to diversify your workforce, Apprenticeships offer your existing staff the opportunity to develop skills that support them both in their current role, as well as with their future career aspirations. This is evidenced by the ESFA (Education and Skills Funding Agency) who stated that “86% of employers said apprenticeships developed skills relevant to their organisation” and “78% reported it improved productivity.”

What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is on the job training leading to a national qualification, available for both new and existing staff. Anyone over the age of 16, who is not in full time education, can apply to be an apprentice. There is no upper age limit, meaning anyone at any stage of their career could benefit. There are different levels of apprenticeships, from intermediate and advanced to higher and degree levels. This enables employers to pick the most appropriate apprenticeship for the requirements of the job role and the individual’s previous experience, and to provide a clearly defined progression pathway. They can be used to develop the skills and knowledge of both new and existing employees and typically combine on-the-job training at an employer’s location with off-the-job training provided by a training organisation.

Apprenticeships in Primary Care

Apprenticeships can be used to develop new and existing staff in both clinical, administrative and managerial roles and can be used to develop skills in administration, customer service, and in specialist office skills, such as Finance and IT. Apprenticeships are also available for roles such as:

  • Administration
  • Healthcare support
  • Team Leadership
  • Management


When considering an apprentice, one the of principal factors will be funding, not only the salary but also the educational fees and the overheads. There are however various funding streams available to support an apprentice, and most GP Practices may be eligible for a levy Transfer which could fund upto 100% of the course fees. There are also national funding programmes (eg ARRS) that could provide monies for salary costs whilst training (Trainee Nurse Associates) or after they they have qualified and taken up a role within the PCN.

How to access funding if you aren’t a levy paying employer

What is a Levy? Not sure if you are a Levy Paying employer? Find out more here

Non-levy paying employers can reserve 95% of the apprenticeship cost through government funding. This is called ‘co-investment’. This means Non-levy employers pay 5% towards the cost of apprenticeship training. The government will pay the rest (95%) up to the funding band maximum. The 95% funding is paid by the Government straight to the provider. The 5% employer contribution is paid to the provider by the employer. Apprenticeships can also be funded via levy transfers; this is when a levy paying employer agrees to fund 100% of the course fees for an apprentice who is employed by a different organisation (either Local or National.)

Ideas about funding can be found here

For more information about Levy Transfers you can contact Mandy Tuckey – ICS Apprenticeship and widening participation programme lead, or Stacey Robinson – Apprenticeships Relationship Manager for our Region (South West).

For Levy Transfers within our ICS, practices will need to complete an application for which can be found here

All employers will also need to register for a Digital Services Account (DAS). The below video shows you how :

A written guide can also be found here

What is the Salary of an Apprentice?

Aged 16 to 18

The current National Minimum Wage rate for an apprentice is £4.81 per hour.

Aged 19 or over and in their first year

The current National Minimum Wage rate for an apprentice is £4.81 per hour.

Aged 19 or over and have completed their first year

Apprentices will be entitled to the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage rate for their age.

Whilst the above are the Minimum rates of Pay, there is good evidence to support paying Apprentices above the minimum rate, to ensure the roles are attractive and competitive, meaning you attract more applicants and retain them in Healthcare.

Are there mentor/supervision requirements?

Apprentices may need some additional support, however, if planned right from the outset, you can minimise the impact this has on team resources. Short-term additional support will deliver long-term benefits and help staff feel valued and committed to the organisation. Mentoring or supervising apprentices also provides a development opportunity for existing staff. Time given to support apprentices in the initial stages will reap rewards later and help apprentices get up to speed more quickly.

Any Other Considerations….

As part of an apprenticeship, employees are required to engage in “Off the Job” training. This is where the individual undertakes learning outside the normal working environment.

From 1st August 2022, apprentices, (working a minimum of 30hrs a week) must undertake at least 6 hours a week ‘Off the Job’ (OTJ) training.  Off-the-job training is defined as learning which is undertaken outside of the normal day-to-day working environment and leads towards the achievement of an apprenticeship. This can include training that is delivered at the apprentice’s normal place of work but must not be delivered as part of their normal working duties. Some examples of OTJ training are: Time spent completing written assignments or research, one to one meetings, attending classroom or online taught session, shadowing a colleague, team training, independent research and coaching sessions. OTJ training isn’t necessarily time that will be “lost” to the practice, but with some creativity can be used to add value for all involved.

Common OTJ Training Myths

Further information can also be found here.

HASO have also created a toolkit with further information which can be accessed here

Steps to get started…..

View the Top Tips for Employers Here

Apprenticeship Standards

Below are a few examples of apprenticeship standards, to see all apprenticeships relevant to Health and Social Care, you can visit HASO

Nursing Associate (level 5)24 MonthsSupporting individuals with all aspects of care including daily living
Performing and recording clinical observations including blood pressure, temperature, respirations,
Undertaking clinical tasks including cannulation, venepuncture, ECGs
Accurately recording nutritional and fluid intake.
Ensuring the privacy, dignity and safety of individuals is maintained at all times
Assistant Practitioner (level 5)18 – 24 monthshealth and social care principles and philosophy – including duty of care, person centred care,
promoting mental health and well-being and safeguarding and protection
healthcare needs from prenatal to end of life care and bereavement support
higher clinical skills – including catheterisation, wound care and discharge planning
case and risk management – including infection prevention and control
team working – including supervising, teaching, mentoring and assessing other staff
patient assessment and coordination of care – including implementing and modifying care plans
health and safety practices, standards and legislation within a healthcare environment
Registered Nurse (Degree) (level 6)48 monthshelping doctors with physical examinations
giving drugs and injections
cleaning and dressing wounds
using medical equipment
working with doctors to decide what care to give
checking patients’ progress
advising patients and their relatives
Registered nurse apprentices specialise in one area: adult nursing, children’s nursing, nursing people
with learning disabilities or mental health nursing
Business Administrator (level 3)12 – 18 monthsSkilled in the use of multiple IT packages and systems relevant to the organisation in order to: write
letters or emails, create proposals, perform financial processes, record and analyse data.
Making recommendations for improvements and present solutions to management.
Maintaining records and files, handles confidential information in compliance with the organisation’s
Demonstrating ability to influence and challenge appropriately.

Career Pathways

Apprenticeships aren’t just for new starters, entire career pathways can be built for new and existing staff as a way to up-skill, develop and retain staff. Skills for Health have created a Pathway tool to help create a clear career pathway using apprenticeships. The tool can be accessed here

Below is an example Apprenticeships pathway for General Practice Nursing.

click on the image to follow the links (will open in a new tab)

Example Roles, Standards and Providers

Primary Care RoleFunding AvailableRelevant Apprenticeship StandardExample Provider Search
Practice NurseApprenticeship Levy
Standards – HASO ( nurse – degree (NMC 2010) (level 6) – apprenticeship training course (
Student Nursing Associates (SNA) (TNA – Student Nursing Associate (SNA) (TNA – Trainee Nursing Associate))Apprenticeship Levy
ARRS Salary
Standards – HASO ( associate (NMC 2018) (level 5) – apprenticeship training course (
Pharmacy TechniciansApprenticeship Levy
❓ARRS Salary
Standards – HASO ( technician (integrated) (level 3) – apprenticeship training course (
Physician AssociatesApprenticeship Levy
❓ ARRS Salary
Standards – HASO ( associate (degree) (level 7) – apprenticeship training course (
Advanced PractitionerApprenticeship Levy
❓ ARRS Salary
Standards – HASO ( practitioner (integrated degree) (level 7) – apprenticeship training course (

❓ – denotes that whilst the salary cannot be claimed during training, once qualified in the role, the salary could, subject to PCN agreement be claimed via the ARR Scheme.

Useful Resources

Further info

Gloucestershire Primary Care Training Hub remain committed to supporting General Practice to access Apprenticeships and the benefits they bring to workforce planning. If you would like further information or support or have any questions, please contact us at

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