Sheffield Hallam University is set to become the first higher education institution in the UK to offer degree apprenticeships in occupational therapy.
The 30-month course will offer students the chance to be the first apprentices at the same time as gaining a degree.
It is set to begin from April and will be open to current and aspiring occupational therapists.
The majority of the students’ time will be in the workplace, but a series of study blocks throughout the year will see them return to the university’s teaching facilities.
Both the Health and Care Professions Council and the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) have approved the new course.
Each of the apprentices will earn a salary as they learn and have their course fees covered by the employer’s apprenticeship levy or co-funding arrangements.
Primary and secondary care employers, local government and the private sector have all been involved in the designing of the new intensive courses, which should help prepare students for real-world work.
An end-point assessment will ensure the apprentice has reached the required standard and achieved full occupational competence.
Conor Moss, director of Sheffield Hallam’s National Centre of Excellence for Degree Apprenticeships (NCEDA), said: “Degree apprenticeships provide more routes to success for more people, particularly in regions with traditionally low productivity.
“Our courses are designed to address skills gaps in priority sectors – helping to drive regional and national economic growth.”
He added that the new degree apprenticeships come at a time when the health sector is facing a workforce crisis.
After completing the courses, students will be career-ready professionals who will be able to slot into teams seamlessly.
Written by Alex Franklin Stortford
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