What is Widening Participation?

Within the NHS Widening Participation It Matters Strategy and Initial Action Plan the following description is used:

For the NHS, widening participation is often applied within the context of seeking recruitment to entry level jobs and supporting progression through the healthcare support workforce and, for some, progression into pre-registration training.

Trusts involved in this project have well developed work experience programmes, excellent partnerships with schools, colleges and other education providers, experience of traineeships and apprenticeships and developed career pathways. The following materials can be used a reference to develop and refresh programmes.

Widening Participation: It Matters Strategy

The Widening Participation: It Matters Strategy sets out how Health Education England will drive widening participation using our workforce and education commissioning leverage and strategic partnership working. This is with the intention of ensuring an approach where the NHS workforce is more representative of the communities it seeks to serve and where development and progression is based upon a person’s merit, ability and motivation and not their social background or the privilege, extent and effectiveness of their social networks

Preparation for Work Programmes

This report analyses the Preparation for Work (2015) survey and proposes a series of recommendations, with associated work streams to drive forward preparation to work within the Health Service. The report has considered the strategic context in terms of; Widening Participation, Talent for Care and Movement to Work.

Talent for Care

Trusts have developed local action plans to support the delivery of widening participation programmes and have signed a Local Partnership Pledge to demonstrate their commitment to workforce development.

Talent for Care – a strategic framework for the development of the healthcare support workforce, has been developed by the Health Education England, supported by the national Social Partnership Forum, and launched on the 4th March 2015. This document has been written to assist local employers and their partners develop actions and measures of success that will deliver this improved investment and development of their healthcare support workforce.

Movement to Work

Movement to Work is a voluntary collaboration of UK employers, including the NHS, committed to tackling youth unemployment through provision of high quality vocational training and work experience opportunities for young people.

Work Experience

Work experience is one of the key priorities within the Widening Participation: It Matters strategy. Work experience helps people of all ages and backgrounds to understand the world of work and make decisions about their education and career.

Work Experience Guidance

Health Education England has Work Experience Toolkits to help NHS organisations increase the opportunities for people to experience work in the healthcare sector.

South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has produced a Work Experience Information Booklet detailing the value of work experience and how to apply.

Princes Trust

The Princes Trust offer help to young people aged 13 to 30 get into jobs, education and training.

Local Examples of Work Experience

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust has a work experience programme to help grow a skilled, diverse and flexible workforce to meet the needs of their service users both now and in the future.
The type of opportunities available are Year 10-11 work experience (14-16 year olds), Year 13 and older (17 years old and over), Shadowing placements and Prince’s Trust placements.

An example flyer on work experience opportunities from South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.


Traineeships are education programmes designed for 16–24 year olds and young people with learning difficulties (up to the academic age of 25). They exist in all sectors and include work experience placements to help trainees become ready for the world of work. They are delivered by training providers and funded by the Government, with employers providing the valuable work experience placement and interview as part of the programme.

Guidance for Employers

NHS Employers has developed a guidance document for employers that explains how traineeships can be used, as part of a holistic strategy, to address the workforce supply challenges facing the NHS.
Traineeships were developed in 2013 as a result of feedback from employers who felt that young people, although motivated, were often not prepared for the apprenticeships or jobs which they were applying for. They were designed to equip young people with the skills, confidence and attitudes necessary to thrive in a professional environment.

Careers Fairs

Careers fairs and events help people find out information about the job roles within the healthcare sector. People are able to ask questions about what it’s really like to work in a particular job role and/or location and provides opportunities for potential employees to market themselves, as well as, the organisations involved, marketing their organisation in a positive way. It also provides opportunities for people to make useful contacts. The Health Careers website provides further information on Career Planning.

Workforce Strategy & Planning

Widening Participation Strategy Templates

Examples of Strategy Templates are listed below:

Return on Investment is an important aspect of strategy and planning. Click here to open the Health Education England ROI presentation for more information.

Local Examples of Apprenticeship Strategies

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust has developed an apprenticeship strategy template, further developed by the MHTT Expert Reference Group.

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust has developed an Apprenticeship Strategy which can be viewed here.

What is an Apprenticeship Standard?

Apprenticeship Standards are being developed in England which will replace the current Apprenticeship Frameworks. Apprenticeships will offer people a real alternative to University and gives employers a ‘job ready’ pipeline of workers.

The key driver for the changes in apprenticeships is the Richard Report in which there was a need for greater employer engagement in the development of apprenticeships, the purchasing power should remain in the hands of employers and where there are rigorous employer training programmes it should be easier for them to deliver their own apprenticeship training.

The Apprenticeship levy is starting in April 2017 and government policies are encouraging employers to take a role in apprenticeship delivery. The following information explains the differences between delivering frameworks (old type of apprenticeships) and apprenticeships standards (the new type).

Healthcare Trailblazers

The government has produced updated guidance for trailblazers, this provides guidance for groups of employers on proposing and developing a new apprenticeship standard.

Healthcare Trailblazers are a series of groups, established to develop the new standards. A partnership between, Skills for Health, Health Sector Employers and Health Education England facilitate the trailblazer groups.

Trailblazers develop Apprenticeship Standards and Assessment Plans. Employers lead the activity and submit the final products to the Department of Education. A panel reviews or approves the submission before the group proceeds to the next stage.

Standards & Assessment Plans

Skills for Health have developed a webpage which contains information on Healthcare Apprenticeship Standards and Assessment Plans approved for delivery and for development.

It also displays healthcare occupations that are being explored for further development. Including a list of the Expressions of Interest (EOI) being developed and submitted to government, with a view to become an apprenticeship standard.

In addition, there is a section on how the new apprenticeship standards relate to the old apprenticeship frameworks.

Healthcare Relevant Standards Update

Click here to open a directory of current potential healthcare clinical and non-clinical standards (both approved and still in development), to be used when identifying appropriate Apprenticeship Standards for the development of existing and future job roles.

This document is based on the information provided on the Skills Funding Agency – apprenticeship standards approved for delivery and apprenticeship standards in development website, where detailed information on each of the standards can be found.

Job Mapping

The Job Mapping Process Illustrations demonstrate three examples of the mapping process for; senior healthcare support workers (existing / “like for like”), customer service practitioners (role enhancement) and team leader supervisor (career development).

The Job Mapping Survey provides a proforma for job mapping leads to collect relevant information, from colleagues, to help them develop identified apprenticeship standards and their associated job roles.

This Job Mapping Record Template is designed to support job mapping leads record the information around identified job roles that are being matched to apprenticeship standards.

Local Examples of Job Mapping

North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust has developed an Apprenticeship Standard Mapping Route Flowchart to demonstrate the process of job mapping apprenticeship standards to job roles.

Career Pathways

Click here to open the MHTT Nurse Career Pathway Model

A local example of the Nurse Career Pathway (Not Final PDF) from the Black Country Partnership NHF Foundation Trust.

Example Job Descriptions and Templates

A Universal Template for Apprenticeship Job Description - Including examples sections on Job Accountabilities, Training and Development and a Person Specification.

A Job Description and Person Specification Template. Provided by Skills for Care

Various examples of Job Descriptions that can be potentially mapped against Apprenticeship Standards, produced by Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust:

Exploring NHS Job Roles

Health Careers

The Health Careers website has information about a career in health - how the health sector is structured, the sort of people the NHS need, where someone might work, and specific information about careers in the NHS, medicine and public health.

The Explore Roles page explains different roles in the NHS, including the entry requirements and skills needed for each role. There are also real-life stories and films of those already working in these roles.

Local Models

An example of the Careers Progression for Bands 1-4 from South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust:

SSSFT Career Progression Bands 1-4

End Point Assessment

Guidance from the Department of Education on current information for end point assessment can be found on the Future Apprenticeships website.

Apprentices working across both health and social care

Health Education England (West Midlands) invited Skills for Care to lead a collaboration with Skills for Health to carry out a scoping study of integrated Apprenticeships.

This scoping study was a short-term piece of work which aimed to identify best practice in integrated health and social care Apprenticeships, with reference to examples from the West Midlands as well as national examples.

The main focus of the research was to identify and explore the following:

This section highlights the information found throughout the report as well as providing links to further reading and guidance on integrated Apprenticeships.

Developing Integrated Apprenticeships

Working Together

Skills for Health has published many case studies of health and social care integration projects focussing on Working together with Skills for Care. They examined projects which demonstrated impacts on key objectives which are important to people in health and social care.

Working with social care partners, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust developed an integrated apprenticeship designed to provide a broad understanding of the different roles and responsibilities that exist in both health and social care, available on the NHS Employers website.

This chart demonstrates the number of integrated Apprenticeships that are currently being run across the country:

Chart - No of Integrated Apprenticeships available across the country

(Click on the image to enlarge it)

Types of Job Roles

Skills for Care has produced a set of Joint Apprenticeship - Learning Profiles including a; reablement worker, extended care worker as well as coordinator roles and navigator roles. These role profiles are designed to provide guidance to support employers to understand how the Health and Social Care Diploma can be used to meet the emerging needs of integrated roles.

The Federation for Industry Sector Skills and Standards has produced an Apprenticeship framework for Health and Social Care.

Overcoming Challenges

The Health Education England - Integrated Apprenticeships Report identified the following challenges and potential solutions to integrating apprenticeships:

Problems and Solutions diagram

(Click on the image to enlarge it)

Case Studies

Click on the links below to open the associated case study:

The Integrated Apprenticeships Report

Skills for Care has produced the Integrated Apprenticeships Scoping Study presentation to demonstrate the research that has taken place as part of the Health Education England (West Midlands) report.

Click here to open the Integrated Apprenticeships Report.

Some background information

This section contains currently available resources from government bodies and other organisations involved in the widening participation and apprenticeship agendas at a national level.

Health Education England

A list of approved resources that have been produced by Health Education England.

Apprenticeships, traineeships and cadet schemes

The Health Careers – Apprenticeships, traineeships and cadet schemes page explains the main features of apprenticeships, gives examples, explains a little about entry requirements and how to apply, and looks briefly at next steps.

(Bands 1-4) Job Roles Linked to Apprenticeships

Health Education England working across Kent Surrey and Sussex have produced a database of (Bands 1-4) Job Roles linked to Apprenticeship Pathways.

NB. Current at point of upload (January 2017)

MHTT Newsletters

The MHTT newsletter is distributed to the Trusts’ Apprenticeship Leads on apprenticeship levy and framework/job standard activity. Various items are highlighted in of order of priority i.e. those which have a deadlines and suggestions where information will need to be actioned. Please be aware that these links do not include the embedded files referenced throughout the documents.



Apprenticeship funding: how it will work - This webpage provides details of how government will fund apprenticeship training in England from May 2017, and what these changes will mean for employers.

NB. Current at time of Upload (February 2017)

Apprenticeships: common funding rules version 4 sets out updated performance-management rules for all apprenticeship starts from 1 August 2016 to 30 April 2017. New starts from May 2017 will be subject to the 2017 to 2018 funding and performance-management rules

NB. Current at time of Upload (February 2017)

A revised apprenticeship funding calculator. A revised version of this popular tool to help employers understand what levy they will pay and how they could use the new digital service to plan and fund training.


The HMRC has produced Guidance for Employers including detailed information on the Pay Apprenticeship Levy, available on the GOV.UK website. It contains information on when and how to pay the Levy, as well as, reporting on how much you owe.

Apprenticeship Levy Information

Skills for Health

Skills for Health have produced the Apprenticeship funding from May 2017 and the implications for the NHS in England document which lays out all the changes to apprenticeships, the introduction of the levy and suggested strategy recommendations for NHS providers.

SFA Digital Apprenticeship Service

There is a narrated presentation aimed at levy paying employers available on YouTube - "The Digital apprenticeship service demonstration". It is a starting point for levy paying employers to familiarise themselves with the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) prior to January 2017.

The video shows screens taken from the prototype system with caveats that this is still in development. It takes employers through the account home screen and explains what they will need to register, followed by a detailed walkthrough of the funding and apprentice sections.

N.B. DAS is still in development and subject to change

Training and Assessment

Skills Funding Agency

The Skills Funding Agency has launched a tool to help employers across England find apprenticeship training. It gives employers information about apprenticeships on offer at approved training organisations and includes information on more than 16,000 apprenticeships, as well as details about the training providers that can deliver the qualifications. Training providers can find information on how to enter their information by clicking here.

Choosing a Provider

A Provider must be registered to deliver Apprenticeships on the Register Of Apprenticeship Training Providers RoATP. Depending on the volumes your local tender processes should be followed.

The National Apprenticeships website has a search function which allows apprentice providers to be searched by framework and location.

You should consider what you want from your training provider. The Choosing a Provider document is an overview of suggested questions an employer may wish to consider when considering Provider selection.

Become a Training Provider

The Employer - Provider Guide outlines what employers need to do to become an apprenticeship training provider.

The approach to the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers. The Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers is now open for applications. The above link provides information and documents on the final policy, application process, application instructions and e-tendering portal guidance

Assessment Organisations

Using the register of apprentice assessment organisations – a new version of Register list of organisation and Register list of standards uploaded on 31 January 2017.

Federation of Awarding Bodies

The Federation of Awarding Bodies website contains a series of useful links about apprenticeships.

Functional Skills

Information around Functional Skills and specifically requirements for all awarding organisations and all regulated qualifications can be found on the .GOV website.


Assessment of Training Providers

Providers fall under the remit of Ofsted. Ofsted reports can be found on the Ofsted website. You should also find out what the providers success rates are these can be found on the gov.uk website, however, these shouldn't always be taken in isolation as other factors may need to be taken into account like the number of learners on programme and when started delivering

A good place to start!

In this section, you will find a range of locally and nationally produced resources that are available for use and adaptation within your own organisation.

Apprenticeship Quality Principles

The National Skills Academy has produced a set of Quality Principles to assist with ensuring quality in NHS apprenticeships and HEE's engagement with employers as they develop new apprenticeship standards for healthcare occupations, including an increasing number at degree level.

Take a look at the video below for some more information:

Or click here to open the National Skills Academy website for further information and useful resources.


Local Examples of Apprenticeship Marketing

Skills for Health has developed communication materials, which may be useful to promote the Healthcare Apprenticeship Standards at Level 2 (Healthcare Support Worker), Level 3 (Senior Healthcare Support Worker) and Level 5 (Assistant Practitioner)

Skills for Health has produced a poster to encourage people to enquire about Apprenticeships in their local area.

South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has produced a Career Development Programme Flyer 2016 to promote Apprenticeships.

South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust produce a monthly Grow Your Potential - Newsletter (e.g. Jan 2017) to showcase Apprenticeship activity in South Staffordshire and Shropshire.

The Apprentices of North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust have produced a leaflet on information for potential apprentices.

National Apprenticeship Week (2017)

This webpage provides Toolkits to help support NAW 2017, which includes information and suggestions for employers, apprentices, MPs, schools, colleges and training providers to help support NAW 2017

Local Examples of Communication Resources

Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has collated a selection of valuable resources for managers, focussing on the sorts of questions that managers frequently ask. This document addresses these questions and signposts to further information from the GOV.uk website. Click here to open the document.

South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has produced A Managers quick guide to Apprenticeships and Career Development document, which contains information about The Career Development Programme and example job roles mapped against Apprenticeships Standards.

North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust has produced an infographic, which details the benefits of apprentices and the impact of the Levy.


Service Level Agreements

A service level agreement (SLA) agrees the expectations and responsibilities of all parties. A good SLA will help to prevent any confusion during the project and ensure all actions are covered. Click here to open a Sample SLA.

An example SLA has been developed by North Middlesex University Hospital – it is a 3 way SLA between the training provider, manager & the apprentice. This approach is also useful to clarify roles & responsibilities.

N.B. Written approval for publishing still required

Apprenticeship Agreement

There is a requirement for an apprentice to be employed under an Apprenticeship Agreement as part of the standard completion conditions for an Apprenticeship. A contract or agreement with an apprentice must contain specific information. Click here to view questions and answers and a template of an apprentice agreement.

N.B. Document produced in 2012, therefore may not be fully up to date.

Apprenticeship Recruitment

Vacancy control

An Apprenticeship Recruitment Flowchart showing who should be included in the vacancy and recruitment process, covering apprenticeship vacancy post authorisation to advert and employment.

Recruitment Guidance

The Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust have produced a Guide to Apprenticeships which includes information roles as well as case studies.


North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust has produced sample projections on Apprenticeship Levy spend for a variety of potential apprenticeships.

Workforce Planning

Documents and resources that will assist managers with the changes that will effect Workforce Planning.

Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have produced a guidance document for HR Business partners and managers to support their workforce planning process. Click here to open the document.

Celebrating Success

The following section has local examples of successful introductions of apprenticeships in Mental Health and Learning Disabilities within the west midlands.

Health Education England

An example Case Study Poster (Pharmacy Apprentice) at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital Birmingham

An example Case Study Poster (Business Administration Apprentice) at West Midlands Ambulance Service

Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

An article featured in the ARCHway newsletter for employees of Birmingham Community Healthcare showcases apprenticeships in; clinical photography and graphic design, media, dental nursing and healthcare support (level 3)

Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

The BCPFT Guide to Apprenticeships showcases apprenticeships in healthcare support (level 2) and business administration

North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust

A Recruitment Case Study demonstrating the process, lessons learnt and further recommendations

An example Case Study that showcases a Trainee Assistant Practitioner Role

An example Case Study that showcases a Business Administration Apprentice

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

An example Case Study (Business Admin Apprentice) at Ashcroft

An example Case Study (IT Apprentice)

An example Case Study (Pharmacy Apprentice) at Summerhill and Central Pharmacy

An example Case Study (Business Administration Apprentice)

An example Case Study (Healthcare Apprentice) at Ardenleigh