This site is intended for health professionals only

Funding for 5,000 NHS apprentices

The government has announced plans to fund thousands of apprenticeships across the health service, offering on-the-job experience to youngsters across the country.

The £24m scheme will create more than 5,000 apprenticeships, with places going on offer from next March in jobs from doctors' surgeries to offices and pharmacy support to dental nursing.

"In these tough economic times, we must do all we can to provide high-quality routes into jobs so that we can ensure we have a highly skilled, highly motivated and loyal NHS workforce," said health secretary Andy Burnham.

Dave Prentis, general secretary of UNISON, said the funding was "the right move at the right time".

He added: "Young people in particular are being hit hard and are struggling to get even near the jobs ladder."

The NHS will be making 1,000 places available in the West Midlands, as well as 748 in Yorkshire and the Humber, 600 in both London and the North West and approximately 500 each in the East Midlands and East of England.

The move is part of a government pledge to create an extra 21,000 public sector apprenticeships in the coming years.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

NHS Careers