Apprentice paramedics

apprentice paramedicsAs a paramedic, not every call you respond to will be a life-or-death situation. We receive 1.2 million calls a year to our control room, but only ten per cent of these calls are to life-threatening emergencies.

There will be times when your skills as a paramedic are vital to save someone's life. However, it might be that you are called to treat someone who has taken a fall at home, or someone who can't get through to their GP but thinks that their headache is something much more serious.

Not everybody needs to be resuscitated with a defibrillator or given adrenaline. But everybody needs to be treated with respect, dignity and understanding.

Understand that and, after five years’ training, you could become a paramedic.

Join us as an apprentice paramedic, and as part of a fixed-term training contract, you’ll benefit from the combination of real-life, on-the-job experience and classroom tuition. It’s a great way to fast-track your career without having to study full-time, or train for anything less than becoming a qualified paramedic.


What training do I get?

You’ll train to be a paramedic over five years. Your training will be split into modules and combine lessons with practical placements and workshops, so knowledge gained in the classroom can be put into practice on the road.

Our course covers everything from driving an ambulance to advanced patient assessments.

Successful candidates will complete an introductory course of nine weeks, which includes three weeks' driver training. During this time you will cover the theoretical and practical skills elements which will allow you to undertake duties on an emergency ambulance with a paramedic.

Once candidates have successfully completed their consolidation period, they will work alongside a paramedic as a paramedic apprentice - working 37.5 hours per week averaged over a 12-week rota, covering 24 hours, seven days per week, 365 days per year.

Apprentices will complete a Foundation Year (year 0) during which they will be required to complete an access to study module, as well as ongoing assessments in practice of their clinical and communication skills and attitudes and behaviours. Those who successfully reach the standards required in practice, and complete the access module, will be registered for the Foundation Degree in Paramedic Science in September/October.

The Foundation Degree runs over a four-year period, on a part-time basis.  This is mainly on a distance study mode with clinical placements to consolidate learning and develop specific practice competencies; clinical placements will take place in both an ambulance and non-ambulance context.

Students should be aware that the course equates to 240 academic credits - 120 at level 4 and 120 at level 5 - and that every credit requires a minimum of 10 hours of student effort.  Although time required to complete study will vary, students should be aware that between seven and 16 hours study will be required by the average student per week in their own time.

Through the course, you will have the opportunity to develop knowledge, skills and competencies that underpin practice across the paramedic science field. The approach of the degree is inter-disciplinary, with opportunities for specialisation where appropriate.

The qualification is attuned to the NHS modernisation agenda, the Knowledge and Skills Framework and the Health and Care Professions Council’s (HCPC) standards of proficiency. The Foundation Degree in Paramedic Sciences has been approved by the HCPC, which means that on successful completion of the award you will be eligible to apply to the HCPC for professional registration as a paramedic.

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What benefits will I receive?

While on the programme, apprentices will be paid in accordance with Annexe U of the NHS national terms and conditions. This is an outline of the current pay:

  • During (Academic) Year 1 of the programme – 60% = £16,575 basic plus £3,414 (outer London) high cost area supplement or £4,036 (inner London) high cost area supplement, plus £4,143 unsocial hours (25%) once working a full rotating shift pattern.
  • Year 2 – 60% = £16,575 plus high cost area supplement and unsocial hours payment.
  • Year 3 – 65% = £17,956 plus high cost area supplement and unsocial hours payment.
  • Year 4 – 70% = £19,337 plus high cost area supplement and unsocial hours payment.
  • Year 5 – 75% = £20,718 plus high cost area supplement and unsocial hours payment.

Our normal shift pattern currently delivers a 25% shift allowance. Using current payscales, if you were posted in inner London and worked our normal rota, your pay in your first year would equate to £24,754 per annum, once working shifts. In your final year of study your pay would be £30,040 per annum.

Please note, however, that Annex U clearly states that each increase to pay is upon successful completion of each academic year. This means that apprentices will not progress through to the next pay level unless and until they complete the previous stage in the training programme.

Once they have successfully completed the programme and registered with the HCPC, they will enter on the first pay point of the appropriate band, which at this time is Band 5.

You will also receive a number of other benefits.

  • A minimum of 27 days' holiday each year, increasing with service.
  • New NHS employees from April 2008 are eligible to join the Amended NHS Pension Scheme which provides membership to a final salary scheme with pension linked to pay near retirement. Other benefits include life assurance, dependent benefits, voluntary early retirement, ill-health retirement benefits and the option to increase retirement benefits.
  • Access to a round-the-clock employee assistance programme.
  • Personal and professional development and training opportunities.
  • Interest-free travel season ticket loan.
  • Childcare voucher scheme.
  • Access to NHS discounts, offering NHS employees a range of money-saving deals.
  • Access to occupational health and counselling services.

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How do I apply?

We advertise all vacancies on the NHS Jobs website, where you can register for an email alert as soon as the position is advertised.

We will also advertise them on the current vacancies section of our website.

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Contact us

Please note that we are not recruiting apprentice paramedics at the moment. For more details about this section, please use the email link below.

Making a difference

Anwara Lewis, paramedic