Nursing careers in England will be made more accessible through a new government package worth up to £172m, which will enable healthcare employers to take on up to 2,000 nursing degree apprentices every year over the next four years.
The news comes as interest in health careers has surged, with the number of people looking for information on nursing on the NHS careers website rising by 138% between March and June.
Nursing degree apprenticeships provide a route into nursing where people can train to nationally recognised standards and earn as they learn, benefiting those for whom a full-time university course is not practical or preferred.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I’m thrilled to see a rising interest in nursing careers, but we must ensure this fantastic career is truly diverse and open to all. Nursing apprenticeships allow students to earn as they learn and this new funding will enable healthcare employers to hire thousands more, helping us to deliver 50,000 more nurses by the end of this Parliament.”
Gillian Keegan, Apprenticeships and Skills Minister said: “Nursing apprenticeships are a brilliant way to start a truly rewarding career with our fantastic NHS. Nurses are at the heart of our NHS and their care, compassion and support of patients save and transform lives across the country every day.
“This multi-million-pound funding boost will help to support thousands of apprentices to gain the skills they need, and earn while they learn. Apprenticeships are an excellent way for anyone, regardless of their background, to kick start their career or to progress.”