Delivering professional apprenticeships in the public and third sector

Katherine McKenna Head of Employer Engagement

In recent years the public sector has done a fantastic job of incorporating apprenticeships into their organisations, especially the NHS with clinical and vocational apprenticeships. Building on this success, there is a huge opportunity for growth in professional apprenticeships, especially in corporate functions in the NHS. These would also have the added benefit of not affecting the core services or day-to-day running of an organisation, particularly where off-the-job training is delivered flexibly.

At the recent Annual Apprenticeship Conference (26-27 Feb), I ran a session which focused on the benefits of professional apprenticeships in the public and third sector. I was joined by a panel of sector specialists who discussed the apprenticeship trends they were seeing.

The first member of the panel to give their insights was Lucy Hunte, National Programme Manager – Apprenticeships at NHS England. Lucy highlighted how apprenticeships have helped boost social mobility within the NHS, as they have opened a learning route to those who may not have previously been able to afford it. She concluded her presentation by saying “Professional apprenticeships for us have been a game-changer, they have allowed us to really develop our existing staff but also attract that new talent that we urgently need into the NHS”.

Also on the panel was Nick Wilson, Regional Account Manager at AAT. Nick started off by stating that “we are increasingly seeing the blended delivery model fast becoming the norm for apprentices in the accounting standard”. He went on to explain that ‘blended’ had become the highest used filter within their Find a Training Provider website search engine, and that nearly 80% of AAT learners are wanting to study via a blended learning model.

Last but not least, we were also joined by Jo Povall, Customer Relationship Partner at Train Together, who was able to give her viewpoint on the topic from the stance of a training provider. Jo explained that Train Together is seeing more and more public sector employers approaching them about apprenticeships because they want to boost retention, and give their employees a path for development.

Thank you to all our panellists for joining us for our workshop and subsequent Q&A session. In the video above, you will be able to watch the full workshop and discussions. If you are interested in finding out more information about delivering professional apprenticeships in the public or third sector, then please email

Posted on: 11 March 2024

Related articles