The first ever cohort of apprentice midwives have started their midwifery studies at Greenwich University this month (January 2020).
The course, which will also be starting in the spring at the University of West London and University of Bedford, has been developed by the Skills for Health and Health Education England (HEE) with support from the Royal College of Midwives (RCM).
On completing the course, student midwives will receive a midwifery degree and registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
CEO of RCM, Gill Walton, said: “This really is a landmark in UK midwifery and a cultural shift for midwifery training, offering a different route into the profession. At the start of this International Year of the Midwife, we called on governments to support the training and education of the maternity workforce, so it’s fitting that the first midwife apprentices are starting today.
“This widens out access and is a really positive addition to routes into midwifery. Although the number of midwives in England is increasing slowly we are still around 2,500 midwives short of the numbers needed.”
The midwifery apprenticeship is available to those already employed as maternity support workers or registered as a nurse under the NMC.
Lead Midwife for Education at the University of Greenwich, Heather Bower, added: “The introduction of this exciting new programme will offer an alternative route to obtaining an undergraduate degree in midwifery for people already working for an NHS trust.
“The content of the course will be the same as the three-year midwifery BSc degree, only the delivery will be different.”
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