Pharmacies can now benefit from a range of initiatives being provided for staff training and apprenticeships from local providers.

South Eastern Regional College (SERC) and North West Regional College (NWRC) now offer a funded-Apprenticeship in Level 2 with    training delivered online and assessments undertaken in the pharmacy. (*Level 3 apprenticeships and training programmes still require a day release.)

If this route isn’t suitable for a candidate, or for those pharmacies outside of the college’s catchment area, then there is additional training with a new programme from Global Horizon Skills (GHS) – an NI-based training provider with a proven track record in offering apprenticeships and on-site training.

GHS are offering community pharmacies the following courses:

Pearson Edexcel Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Pharmacy Service Skills 

Pearson BTEC Levela 3 Diploma in Pharmaceutical Science 

Pharmacy Services Level 2 Apprenticeship criteria:

No upper age limit

Must be employed in a pharmacy for a minimum of 21 hours per week

Qualifications required: 5 GCSEs (Grades D-G) including at least      Grade C* in English and Maths (or      an equivalency, such as Level 1 Essential Skills)

* Students without Grade C in Maths and English or equivalent will be required to complete Level 2 in Essential Skills Literacy or Numeracy as part of the apprenticeship.

Alternatively, for employees not required to work in the dispensary, Global Horizon Skills (GHS) have a range of funded apprenticeships, including Customer Service, Retail Skills, IT, Warehousing, Team Leading and Management, which can upskill new or existing staff. DfE employer incentives up to £1000 are available via GHS. For more information, contact Catherine McGeady

The UK Government has also announced a range of measures to support apprenticeships, including incentives for the retention of existing trainees. Employers will be eligible for up to £3,000 for each new apprenticeship opportunity created from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021: 

• Payment 1-  £2,000 after 90 days retention

• Payment 2 – £1,000 after 200 days retention from first employment

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