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Education and training

Pharmacy degree apprenticeships put on hold by COVID-19

A meeting to discuss the next stage in progressing pharmacy degree apprenticeships has been cancelled because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Open access article

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has made this article free to access in order to help healthcare professionals stay informed about an issue of national importance.

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Apprentice pharmacist


Plans to produce a pharmacy degree apprenticeship scheme have again been put on hold

Development of a pharmacy degree apprenticeship has been put on hold by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Skills for Health, the body responsible for building healthcare workforce capacity, has said.

A spokesperson for Skills for Health told The Pharmaceutical Journal that a meeting scheduled for 1 July 2020, to discuss the next stage in progressing pharmacy degree apprenticeships, had been cancelled owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pharmacy apprenticeships project team continue to meet every month to review the situation, the spokesperson added.

Proposals for a pharmacy degree apprenticeship were originally published on 4 April 2019 by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. Following concerns raised by the sector during the ten-day consultation period, and also at a stakeholder event in July 2019, the trailblazer group of pharmacy employers behind the proposals, which includes multiples Boots, LloydsPharmacy, Rowlands and Well, decided to pause the development process and expand the group to represent a wider range of pharmacy sectors.

In October 2019, the employer group agreed to develop a second proposal taking into account concerns previously raised. However, in December 2019, the plans were put on hold again to allow what it described as “misconceptions” to be addressed.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2020.20208067

Readers' comments (1)

  • I am concerned that discussions are still being held on this topic when the majority of pharmacists are against it. This is because it will degrade the profession both within the health care community and with the public. It will put patients at risk, and after years of trying to raise the profile of pharmacists, reduce the little faith they have in our profession. There is no doubt in my mind that the only reason behind it is to get cheap labour for the multiples and reduce wages for pharmacists. During these unprecedented times, while we are focused on other more important matters, such as protecting our patients and staff. It is a great time for money-hungry people to try and take advantage, and slip in legislation that will forever ruin the profession.

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