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Cash boost promised for learning disability nurse degree apprenticeships

Employers will receive £3,900 extra per year for the specialist apprentice placements 
Funding for learning disability apprentices

Employers will receive 3,900 extra per year for the specialist apprentice placements

Extra funds will be offered to employers in England for each learning disability nursing degree apprentice they take on in the next year.

Extra payment aims to boost learning disability workforce

Health Education England (HEE) is giving 3,900 on top of the 8,300 paid per year to healthcare employers for each nursing degree apprentice, that was announced earlier this month.

HEEs director of skills development and participation Laura Roberts said the 12,200 payment per year will help expand the learning disability nurse profession.

The funding enables employers to meet the costs of taking on apprentices, including staffing

Employers will receive £3,900 extra per year for the specialist apprentice placements  


The number of learning disability nurses has been on the decline Picture: Tim George

Extra funds will be offered to employers in England for each learning disability nursing degree apprentice they take on in the next year.

Extra payment aims to boost learning disability workforce

Health Education England (HEE) is giving £3,900 on top of the £8,300 paid per year to healthcare employers for each nursing degree apprentice, that was announced earlier this month.

HEE’s director of skills development and participation Laura Roberts said the £12,200 payment per year will help expand the learning disability nurse profession.

‘The funding enables employers to meet the costs of taking on apprentices, including staffing costs while apprentices are undertaking education and training,’ she said.

‘This is a fantastic opportunity to grow a much-needed part of the nursing workforce, with a more flexible degree that enables students to earn as they learn.’


Danny Mortimer: 'Better funding for
degree apprenticeships is hugely welcome'

Extra funds provide support to degree apprenticeships

NHS Employers chief executive Danny Mortimer welcomed the move.

‘We have called for adequate support for nurse degree apprenticeships for some years, and the Commons Education Select Committee endorsed that call in 2018,’ he said.

‘The steps taken in recent weeks to better fund degree apprenticeships are hugely welcome.’

Mr Mortimer also pointed to the positive impact this extra cash may have given the particularly high shortages of learning disability nurses and the risk that poses to services.

In 2018, NHS Employers submitted evidence to a parliamentary inquiry into the nurse degree apprenticeship scheme, when it was revealed that the cost to an employer of training apprentices was £34,358 per year.

Workforce data shows a decline in learning disability nurse numbers

Nursing degree apprentices undertaking a four-year programme are paid more than £15,000 per year and do not have to pay tuition fees.

The move will hopefully boost learning disability nurse numbers, which have declined over recent years.

Data from the Nursing and Midwifery Council shows there were 13,480 learning disability nurses registered in England in March this year, 959 fewer than in March 2016.

Additionally, the latest NHS workforce data recorded there were 3,223 full-time-equivalent learning disability nurses employed in the NHS in England in May 2020, compared with 5,368 in May 2010.


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