Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS), which partners with the University of Huddersfield to provide paramedic apprenticeships, has been recognised in the country’s Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers 2023.

The University has welcomed apprentices from YAS to study alongside undergraduates in their second year as part of the degree apprenticeship scheme since 2020.

The success of the scheme has contributed towards YAS being placed 36th – the top-rated NHS organisation – in the rankings produced annually by the Department for Education.

“The recently published NHS workforce plan makes it clear that apprenticeship growth is absolutely fundamental to that NHS health and care workforce pipeline for the future,” says Dr Sara Eastburn, Acting Head of the Department of Allied Health Professions at the University. 

“Up to 50 per cent of paramedics in the future will be from the apprentice route, so the relationship we have with YAS at a strategic and operational level is absolutely crucial to collaboratively meet that workforce pipeline. 

“We have invested a lot in apprenticeship support in the University at an operational level, so we are keen to ensure that the collaboration goes from strength to strength. The support from YAS to have two cohorts a year is key to getting that pipeline into the NHS.”

Tamsyn Weston, a Lecturer Practitioner on secondment to the University from YAS, added that, “There is a wealth of mutual support between YAS and the University and the results are plain to see, with over 120 apprentice paramedics having come through Huddersfield and more to come. We are delighted that YAS has been named as one of the top 100 apprenticeship employers in the country.”

Tony Spence, Head of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Academy, said: “We are proud of the internal career pathway model which is a development programme leading from support worker level through to paramedic. Staff progress through three different apprenticeship levels, which allows them to practice with increasing levels of clinical responsibility. 

“When they complete the pathway with a University BSc (Hons) Paramedic degree, they are able to offer the best possible, safe care. This demonstrates a real investment in our staff and our commitment to delivering the best possible response to all of our patients in Yorkshire.”

Dawn Adams, Associate Director of Education and Organisational Development (Interim) for Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: “I am exceptionally proud of our apprenticeship provision in YAS. Our achievement rates are strong and distinction rates are excellent.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our apprentices for their hard work and determination to succeed, and to thank all those who support our apprentices; it really does make a difference.” Following a full Ofsted inspection in June 2023, YAS’s apprenticeship provision has been declared as ‘good’ with ‘outstanding’ features.