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Widening access to NHS apprenticeships

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 11th March 2020.

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Photo of Onkar Sahota Onkar Sahota Labour

Freedom of Information requests I submitted to NHS Trusts indicate that 3469 apprenticeships were started at London NHS Trusts from 2017 to 2019. Only 967 of these went to new starters. Will you ask NHS Trusts to look at best practice on pooled apprenticeship levy funds and a joint strategy to ensure more Londoners can use this as a route into NHS employment?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

While the GLA has no statutory powers over apprenticeships or the NHS, the health and care workforce is a key priority for the London Health Board.

The NHS Long-Term Plan requires entry-level jobs to be offered as apprenticeships before other recruitment options.  The NHS Ambassadors scheme promotes the wide range of careers and routes into NHS Trusts in schools and colleges. The apprenticeship levy has also been used by Trusts to train current staff in clearly defined career pathways such as through the new Nursing Associate role.

On pooling, employers can transfer apprenticeship levy funds to other employers, which my Apprenticeships for Londoners programme is supporting. However, multiple employers are not allowed to pool levy funds under the current rules. I will continue to make the case for devolution of apprenticeship funding, so we can take a more strategic approach to ensure Londoners and the city’s employers have access to the skills they need.