Traditionally, apprenticeships were 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, they have equivalent educational levels, from GCSE (Level 2) to Degrees up to Masters level and there is no upper age limit.
The government has set a public sector target to employ more people in apprenticeship schemes. They offer great opportunities for employees to learn new skills and work towards a qualification while being paid, 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 training.
An apprentice is employed as an employee by an organisation. Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes which combine on-thejob training from experienced staff in the workplace. The apprentice will also undertake off-the-job training with a Training Provider, leading to nationally recognised qualifications. This gives apprentices the unique opportunity to earn while they learn, and gain practical work experience relevant to their desired career path.
It also means employers are able to play a key role in the development of their staff, and build a workforce directly tailored to their business priorities and organisational values.
Any member of Police staff can participate at any age and any Police Officer up to the age of 55 can be an apprentice.
Length of apprenticeships
Each apprenticeship is different and there is no set time to complete the apprenticeship. In general they can take between one to six years to complete.
Police staff: We have introduced career apprenticeships for police staff vacancies, aligned to the Apprenticeship Standards.
Typically a police officer will be 18 or older, and will have already achieved a Level 3 qualification (or equivalent) as well as Level 2 in English and Mathematics or equivalent prior to entry.
The degree apprenticeship takes three years and at the end of the course successful students will be awarded in Professional Policing Practice by our training education partners The University of South Wales.
Entry requirements vary from force to force. Typically a PCSO will be 18 or older, and will have achieved a Level 3 qualification (16 UCAS points) or equivalent and a Level 2 in English and Mathematics (or equivalent) prior to entry.
The apprenticeship will take around a year and at the end of the course a Level 4 Higher Education Certificate in Community Policing Practice will be awarded by our training education partner the University of South Wales
It won't cost anything. The apprenticeship is funded by the Government and will cover all the costs of your training.
All apprentices will be paid and for all successful students there is a job waiting for you at the end of your apprenticeship.
What your employer does
Your employer is fundamental to your apprenticeship. They give you on-thejob training and experience to support your career whilst paying your wage.
Your employer will also ensure you have a manager there to guide you throughout your apprenticeship. All our apprentices are also assigned a oneto-one mentor, who will be available to offer advice when you need it.
Apprentices are cost-effective and lead to increased productivity, improved competitiveness and a committed and competent workforce.
You will receive the same holiday entitlement as most paid employment – on average 22 days paid holiday per year, plus Bank Holidays.
The selection process is the same as applying for a job. You will be asked to attend several interviews and in some cases you will need to sit tests, but these are just to make sure you're right for the position.
Amount of places
The government has set a target of three million new places by 2020, including specific targets for public sector bodies. In 2016, some 491,300 new apprenticeships started in England.
University after an apprenticeship
You can go on to university from an apprenticeship.
Apprenticeship or university
Neither route is better than the other. Should you choose not to go to university, work-based learning is seen as a serious alternative. Some individuals find apprenticeships offer the chance to train, learn and earn at the same time.
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.
Why do we need to change policing?
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:
a specialist knowledge base
a distinct ethical dimension
continuing professional development (CPD)
standards of education
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) was the first new apprenticeship programme being delivered as a result of PEQF we introduced in Wiltshire in summer 2020, in partnership with the University of South Wales (USW).
Progress: Currently preparing for end point assessment, aiming for completion early 2021.
David Eddy was our first ever apprentice and decided to take up the study after taking up a civilian role after many years as a police officer. He wanted to improve his knowledge in Human Resources and graduated in summer 2020.
More recently he has gained promotion to become Head of People Development.
Current role: Head of People Development
Apprenticeship: CIPD Level 5 Diploma in Human Resource Management (Level 5)
Duration: Two years
Format: First 12 months one day per week on site, second year on-the-job learning, a final dissertation marked by a CIPD assessor and a professional discussion
Progress: David is our first successful apprentice and graduated in summer 2020.
Superintendent David Minty is a senior officer and combines a very busy day job with studying for a Masters Degree apprenticeship. For the the first time in 20 years he is back in the classroom and is fortunate to be able to access the latest research in evidenced based policing in the world.
Current role: County Hub Superintendent - Operation