In a bid to tackle NHS workforce shortages, tens of thousands of doctors and nurses will be able to train on the job as apprentices. 

The plan will see a large volume of medics trained via a ramped-up apprentice scheme. 

According to the PA news agency, it will see at least one in 10 doctors and a third of nurses trained in the coming years. 

It comes as the head of the NHS encouraged school leavers to “earn while they learn” through NHS apprenticeship schemes.

NHS to hire tens of thousands of apprentices

Chief executive of the NHS in England Amanda Pritchard shared that the expansion of NHS apprenticeship schemes will offer an alternative to a traditional university degree and may entice people into a medical career later in life.

Along with plans of a heightened apprentice scheme, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had promised that the NHS’s long-term workforce plan will be published “shortly”.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Currently, the NHS has 124,000 vacancies across the workforce as Ms Pritchard said that the plan is a “once-in-a-generation opportunity to put the NHS on a sustainable footing."

She went on: "With over 350 different roles available, from nursing to biomedical specialist through to peer support worker, there is a potential profession for everyone.

"One thing is clear, the NHS is nothing without its staff. That is why with more than 124,000 vacancies across the workforce, we know we need to increase training places in universities so more of our brightest and best can train to become doctors or nurses.

"But university isn’t right for every school-leaver and some young people want to start earning straight away, while others may decide on a career in health care later in life.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

"So the NHS is looking to expand apprenticeship schemes over the coming years, offering a different route into the NHS where students can earn while they learn, instead of going through the university route."

The NHS’s doctor apprenticeship scheme is due to start in September this year, where medics in training will be able to earn a wage while they study.

The concept was first introduced as an alternative route into medicine, outside the standard undergraduate or graduate university programmes.