THE number of nursing apprentices joining the NHS is to double as part of a drive to recruit 50,000 more nurses.
Up to 2,000 trainees a year will be able to earn and learn on the job, with the aim of securing a qualification after four years.
The programme is an alternative to a full-time university nursing course and is particularly popular with mature students.
Hospitals and other healthcare providers recruit 1,000 nursing apprentices a year.
But the Government wants to increase this to 2,000 a year for four years and is supporting the push with £172million of funding.
It comes after searches for nursing on the NHS careers website surged by 138 per cent between March and June.
The profile of nurses has increased during the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the new funding would help efforts to “deliver 50,000 more nurses by the end of this Parliament”.
Mike Adams, from the Royal College of Nursing, said the increase in apprenticeships was a welcome step.
But he added: “It does, however, fall short of the wider investment needed to educate enough registered nurses for the future.”
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