Traditionally, apprenticeships were associated with on-the-job training for young people, typically aged 16 to 24. This is not the reality today in Wiltshire Police, or generally in the workplace.
Today, apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels, ranging from GCSE (Level 2) to Degrees up to Masters level and there is no upper age limit.
As a major employer, we have been set a public sector target by Government to employ more people in apprenticeship schemes. We are starting to offer apprenticeships now for selected police staff vacancies. They offer great opportunities for employees to learn new skills and to work towards a qualification while being paid, as well as supporting personal development and helping staff retention. During the apprenticeship, employees will be released for up to 20 per cent of the working week for learning and training purposes.
The College of Policing has introduced a new, professional framework for training police officers and police staff. It sets professional qualification levels for the police service as a whole by rank or responsibility. As well as police officer recruitment changes, professional training for many police staff roles, PCSOs and Special Constables will also change over time.
One of the fundamental requirements of a profession is the basis on which practitioners can exercise a high degree of individual autonomy and independence of judgement.
The criteria which define professional discretion can vary, but the common core elements are:
Until now, policing did not have consistent, national education levels for all policing roles or ranks reflecting current and future challenges, nor an entry level qualification commensurate with that of a profession.
The Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) is the first new apprenticeship programme being delivered as a result of PEQF. It is one of three new entry routes into policing starting in June 2020, in partnership with the University of South Wales (USW).
See our Police Officer careers pages for more information.