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Health sector apprentice numbers rise by one-third, says Skills for Health
The number of people beginning health apprenticeships in England has risen by nearly a third, according to new figures published by Skills for Health.
The analysis of apprenticeship performance for 2008-09 - the most recent year for which full figures covering the apprenticeships frameworks managed by Skills for Health are available - found that total new starts reached 3,096 in 2008-09, compared with 2,230 in 2007-08, an increase of 28 per cent.
The figures for the NHS, independent and voluntary sectors also found that the proportion of health apprentices who successfully complete their training rose for a third consecutive year, to 74 per cent - 10 percentage points above the national average.
Healthcare support roles accounted for the largest overall number of new health apprenticeship starts during 2008-09. However, the fastest year-on-year growth in apprenticeship numbers was among pharmacy technicians and dental nurses, where new starts rose sharply.
Skills for Health says these increases follow the introduction of statutory regulation for both occupational groups during 2009, which is believed to have encouraged more trainees to follow an apprenticeship as a means of acquiring professional accreditation.
Skills for Health chief executive John Rogers said: "These figures are very encouraging and a testament to the hard work of the many trainees who have taken up apprenticeships within the health sector.
"They also show that more and more employers are realising that apprenticeships offer a realistic workforce development solution which supports new ways of delivering services and improving patient care."
Skills for Health is promoting take-up of apprenticeships within the health sector and offers a range of materials, advice and guidance to help employers implement programmes. These include online resources with a database of more than 80 apprenticeships now available within healthcare.For further information, visit: www.skillsforhealth.org.uk/apprenticeships
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