University of Greenwich Leads the Way With New Midwifery Degree Apprenticeship Programme
“This scheme will provide an important incentive for maternity support workers to train to become qualified midwives. Not only will the apprentice be earning a wage, they will also be exempt from paying the course fees. We are proud to be leading the way by developing and piloting these trailblazing apprenticeships, with trusts across the country interested in participating in the future to increase the number of trained midwives in England.”
In April 2018, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) reported that there had been a 35% drop in the number of applications for midwifery courses in England since 2013, and that the biggest drop was in applicants aged 21 or older – mature students. The RCM raised concerns about the decline in midwifery applications, especially since August 2017, when the NHS bursary was abolished and tuition fees were introduced.
Talking about the development of the new scheme, Bower said: “After seeing a fall in the number of applicants for the midwifery degree, I had the idea of introducing an apprenticeship programme. I then worked with my colleagues here at the university, and local NHS trusts to develop the idea, and in June 2018 the University of Greenwich held the first Midwifery Degree Apprenticeship meeting.”
Attended by representatives from the Royal College of Midwives, Health Education England, Skills for Health and the Institute for Apprenticeships, the meeting led to the creation of a Trailblazing Group to develop the Midwifery Degree Apprenticeship standards. These were approved in December 2018.
The University of West London will also be piloting a three-year programme and the University of Bedford are approved to run a shortened midwifery apprenticeship scheme.
The pilot scheme at the University of Greenwich, which is subject to final approval from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), will initially train a minimum of 18 midwives and if successful, will be rolled out across the country.
For more information about the midwifery degree apprenticeship programme, email FEHapprenticeships@greenwich.ac.uk.