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Sturgeon announces £3.4m funding for pharmacy technician apprenticeships


Sturgeon announces £3.4m funding for pharmacy technician apprenticeships

The Scottish Government has announced £3.4m in funding for pharmacy technician apprenticeships in the community pharmacy, GP and hospital sectors.

The new two-year recruitment programme, which was announced on Monday to coincide with the launch of Scottish Apprenticeship Week, will see 150 apprentice pharmacy technicians trained and recruited across Scotland.

Fifty apprentices will begin training in April, with an additional intake of 100 to be recruited in the autumn.

The Scottish Government said that over the course of their training apprentices “will develop skills and gain valuable experience working in hospital and community pharmacies as well as GP practices,” with training to include providing medication reviews and working with other healthcare professionals to ensure effective patient care. 

Described as the first scheme of its kind in Scotland, the National Pre-registration Trainee Pharmacy Technician Scheme will draw on public funding to pay salaries and develop the infrastructure needed to expand the SCQF Level 8 Technical Apprenticeship in Pharmacy Services.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon, who met with apprentice pharmacy technicians in University Hospital Monklands this week, said: “Growing our workforce is crucial, which is why we must increase the opportunities for our young people who wish to choose a career in the NHS such as pharmacy, with quality hands-on training to set them on their path. 

“Increasing the number of qualified pharmacy technicians is critical to ensuring a well-qualified workforce.”

Skills Development Scotland chair Frank Mitchell said the apprenticeship will “provide key support for the NHS, giving people the opportunity to work, learn and earn developing skills that are in demand”. 

“When it comes to supporting sustainable skills through workforce development or providing opportunities for young people, we know that apprenticeships work,” said Mr Mitchell.

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