What is an integrated apprenticeship?
An integrated apprenticeship provides the apprentice with the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge needed to be competent in a common occupation across different sectors. Apprentices are either employed in one sector, e.g. social care, and attend a work placement in another sector, e.g. health, or they're employed by an independent body (an Apprenticeship Training Agency) and have placements in both sectors, to gain a wider range of experience and understanding.
Example of an integrated apprenticeship
The Coastal West Sussex programme was developed with the aim to support growing workforce needs and encourage integration between health and social care sectors. Apprentices were employed by an Apprenticeship Training Agency. Their programme consisted of two six-month placements; one in an acute hospital ward and one in a County Council-run day centre or residential home.
The different settings helped apprentices choose which sector was more suitable for them, and they were able to apply the skills and knowledge they acquired in their first placement into their second placement, making improvement for colleagues and those accessing services.
What are the benefits of integrated apprenticeships?
In 2017, Health Education England (West Midlands) commissioned Skills for Care and Skills for Health to review integrated apprenticeships across the social care and health sector. The study found that integrated apprenticeship projects helped to:
- encourage an integrated culture and share learning.
- provide valuable experience in different sectors.
- improve partnerships.
- facilitate the development of diverse skills.
- support sustainability of programmes.
Case study: The West Kent Nursing Associate programme
The West Kent Nursing Associate (NA) programme is an integrated apprenticeship programme created through a collaborative between Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Partnership Trust, Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (mental health services), Kent County Council (representing independent nursing providers) and Hospice in the Weald. Discover how the programme is being implemented across health and social care in West Kent, challenges they've faced so far and the benefits that they're seeing. Click here to learn more.
Are you running an integrated apprenticeship programme? We'd love to hear from you. Get in touch to share your experiences.