Update on Pharmacist Apprenticeship Proposal

Even though there were only 5 days left on a very short consultation time frame, nearly 6,000 PDA members responded to our encouragement to feed back on the 10 day consultation on an apprenticeship for pharmacist proposal, which was made public by the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education (IFATE) earlier this month. This is an update on what will happen next.

Tue 30th April 2019 The PDA

The large-scale responses have persuaded the Institute to take concerns very seriously and because of them, IFATE have approached us to ask that we bring key stakeholder organisations from across pharmacy together to discuss the controversy caused by the proposal and the issues raised by the consultation.  IFATE have also committed to share information at that meeting about the normal process they use in any sector when developing apprenticeships.

Consequently we have arranged a meeting in Birmingham on Thursday 2 May and we have invited the following organisations to attend, along with representatives of training organisations and primary care:

  • The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)
  • Pharmacy Schools Council (PhSC)
  • British Pharmaceutical Students Association (BPSA)
  • Health Education England (HEE)
  • Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists (GHP)
  • Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS)
  • Company Chemists Association (CCA)
  • National Pharmacy Association (NPA)
  • Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIM)

Government policy encourages apprenticeships for many jobs to fill skills gaps and larger employers must pay a compulsory levy towards this activity. In order to recoup their levy contribution, there is an incentive for employers to have apprentices in their business. New apprenticeships must be developed with the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education and they are required to work with so -called “Trailblazer Groups” of at least 10 employers who are supposed to be representative of their sector.

One of the key things we would like to learn at the meeting is finding out which employer organisations are involved in driving this current proposal, because the identity or involvement of all the participants of any ‘trailblazer group’ are yet to be made public.

We also want to voice the concerns being expressed by our members including those about the content of the proposal and how and why it was developed without engaging the sector.

We hope that any members or potential members of the ‘trailblazer group’ and the IFATE will ultimately listen to your concerns before deciding what to do next with their proposal.

We also hope this meeting allows the sector to fact find about the work of IFATE in relation to pharmacy and that we can help shape a united response to any proposal for an apprenticeship scheme from the profession.

We thank you for your active support in this matter and we will provide you with a further update after the meeting.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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