The brand new Boots UK Healthcare Colleague Apprenticeship programme will be a Level 2 NVQ and launched this year, offering opportunities for up to 350 young adults aged between 16 and 18 years old. The apprentices will have the chance to gain full-time permanent employment and on-the-job learning in the most vibrant Boots stores across the UK. During this 12 month programme, young people will be fully trained so they can offer industry-leading healthcare advice and dispense medication within the pharmacy.
Providing customers and patients with healthcare information and advice, as well as taking an active role in the pharmacy dispensing items, apprentices will be able to make a real difference in the communities in which they work.
Skills Minister, Nick Boles, comments: “Apprenticeships make absolute business sense while providing life changing opportunities for your people across the country. I am therefore delighted that Boots UK is to create 350 new apprenticeships. I would urge all employers of all sizes to follow Boots UK’s lead and to consider how they can make apprenticeships part of their growth strategy.”
Marc Donovan, Head of Healthcare HR, Boots UK, comments: “As one of the largest employers in the UK, we have the opportunity to play a big role in supporting young people into work and developing them in their career. We want to encourage more young people to see community healthcare as a career for them, and Boots is the place to do that. These apprentices will be the future of healthcare provision in the UK, and I feel privileged to be able to inspire young talent and to play a role in their training.”
Edward Cruickshank, 18, who is currently a trainee dispenser, supports the big business’ pledge to the future of healthcare in the UK. Currently based in the Boots store in Oxted, Surrey, he says: “As a young person already working in a community healthcare role at Boots UK, I thoroughly support this new apprenticeship programme. I went to sixth form college myself, but wasn’t sure University was for me. I’m sure many school-leavers feel the same when looking at options for higher education. I like it at Boots, where I can learn and work at the same time, while earning a full salary. There are also lots of opportunities for progression at Boots, which is where I see my future.”
Kirk Lower, National Lead for Health Education England's Widening Participation strategy and 'Talent for Care' - HEE's development strategy for the NHS's healthcare support workforce (Bands 1-4), commented: "Pharmacy support staff play a key role in community healthcare, promoting health and wellbeing and providing advice to customers. Health Education England's recently launched Talent for Care framework supports the development of new apprenticeships that meet the needs of healthcare employers, now and in the future. The announcement of so many new apprenticeship opportunities by Boots is good news for those looking to start a career in healthcare and good news for the healthcare sector."
Supporting young people in work and education is part of the heritage behind the Boots UK brand. For example, in 1913, its philanthropic leader, Jesse Boot, provided ongoing education to the youngest in his workforce, by providing schooling to those who left school at 14 for factory work in Nottingham.
Tony Allen, Deputy Director Large Companies Unit, Skills Funding Agency: “The National Apprenticeship Service’s Large Companies Unit is delighted to have been able to support Boots UK to develop a new Healthcare Apprenticeship Programme. Large employers like Boots are taking the lead and offering more and more exciting opportunities for young people to embark on a career and develop skills which are essential to the growth of the business and the UK economy. I look forward to continuing to work with colleagues at Boots to support this quality programme and enable them to recruit for this programme through our online apprenticeship vacancies system.”
Boots is working with Pearson WBL & Colleges to accredit the Boots in-house Pharmacy training programme to the National Apprenticeship standards
Apprentices will be employed on full time contracts. Applicants will need GCSE Maths and English at C or above, plus the enthusiasm and motivation to succeed in these brand new roles. Positions will be open to interested applicants later this year, and more information on all Boots UK Apprenticeship programmes can be found at boots.jobs/talentprogrammes/apprentices/. Information on Boots Jobs is also available on Twitter: @Boots_Talent and Facebook: Boots Talent Programmes.