People & places

Coventry University transforming careers with apprenticeships

February 8, 2022

It has rarely been more crucial to introduce new people to health and life science careers. The twin storms of Covid-19 and Brexit have emphasised how vital the health and social care professions are, and the growing number of roles going unfilled. How can employers attract new and current health and social care workers to qualify and upskill in such rewarding but clearly challenging careers?

At Coventry University, the answer is the same now as it always was: be ambitious, aim high, and invest in a genuine solution.

What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are a way for new recruits to train alongside undertaking paid work, and for those in work to gain new skills and qualifications to allow them to progress in their career.

For health and social care providers, apprenticeships are a great way to retain and train high-quality staff. They also bring in passionate, committed employees at the beginning of their careers. Training is tailored to the apprentice’s real workplace, and typically takes up one day in five each week. With extensive government support from the Apprenticeships Levy, they’re also extremely cost effective.

What’s the catch?

There really isn’t one. Apprenticeships can be undertaken at any age and at any level to get vocational and academic qualifications, including degrees and higher education, without the burden of tuition fees.

Apprentices are paid for the job they’re doing, and employers can pitch the salary level above the amount required for an apprenticeship, to ensure they recruit and incentivise the best talent.

What impact is Covid having?

Over the pandemic many people are reassessing their life goals, and think deeply about what really matters to them. In the UK, that’s inspired a significant rise in applications for healthcare careers. UCAS reports a record number of 18-year-olds applied to study nursing in England in 2021, along with a rise across all age groups in nursing courses and a welcome boost in mental health.

For anyone feeling inspired to change career or plan for the future, an apprenticeship is an attractive route.

“Covid 19 has not only shown us we need more health and care workers; in addition, we need to be flexible in how we deliver our health education.

I am very proud of how our faculty has responded to the apprenticeship agenda in developing these exciting health and care roles. Apprenticeship pathways complement our existing provision, and help us to attract values-driven individuals into these important professions.”

Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Coventry University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Coventry University: always looking forward

While apprenticeship standards are set by the government, not all course providers are alike. Coventry University offer a broad range of courses with high-quality training, made simple.

Coventry University was No.3 for Health Studies by The Complete University Guide 2022 and we were shortlisted for University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. This showcases our academic excellence and employability within health and social care.

Coventry University is the number one provider for Nursing and Midwifery in the Midlands, the number one university for social work in the Midlands, and in the top ten across the UK for Social Work, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy (Guardian University Guide 2021).

Breadth of courses

Where Coventry University excels is in its sheer range of courses, offering a consistent provider. It works with over 550 employers, and has 1800 apprentices enrolled this year. Of over 50 apprenticeship courses, 13 are health and social care programmes, with a further 5 in development. These include nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and more; healthcare science associate and practitioner programmes are also in development for 2022. This range allows the University to work closely with the NHS to provide training and support for staff at all stages of their career development.

Flexible locations

Coventry University has another huge advantage: a wide campus network, spread across the country. As well as Coventry University and CU Coventry, apprentices and employers can be supported by the campus in Scarborough, or at multiple facilities in London, depending on course interest.

Many healthcare apprenticeships can be delivered in a hybrid style, with some training taking place in the workplace. Such benefits are cohort and course-dependent (for example, if specialist equipment is required), but may allow apprentices to stay in the workplace for the whole programme.


Thanks to a global reach and a strong academic and teaching foundation, Coventry University can offer high-quality training backed by current knowledge. That means employers benefit not only from the up-to-date skills of their apprentices, but also tailored, industry-focused support. Our blended learning programmes also utilise our award-winning online learning platforms, Aula and FutureLearn.

Opportunity for all

Despite common misconceptions about apprenticeships, there’s no age limit. Coventry University apprentices range from 18 to mid-50s. There’s around a 50/50 split between new employees and workers upskilling from a long-term role.


  • Healthcare Assistant Practitioner– Level 5
  • Nursing Associate– Level 5
  • Senior Metrology Technician – Level 5
  • Chartered Manager – Level 6
  • Occupational Therapist– Level 6
  • Public Health Practitioner – Level 6Physiotherapist – Level 6
  • Social Worker– Level 6
  • Operating Department Practitioner – Level 6
  • Registered Nurse – Level 6
  • Advanced Clinical Practitioner – Level 7
  • Dietician – Level 7
  • Senior Leaders – Level 7

Coming soon

  • Healthcare Science Associate –2022– Level 4
  • Diagnostic Radiographer –2022– Level 6
  • Enhanced Clinical Practitioner – 2022 – Level 6
  • Occupational Therapy and Leadership (Pre-Registration) –2022– Level 6
  • Clinical Associate in Psychology –2022– Level 7

To find out more about becoming an industry partner or supporting your employees to train with us, get in touch today.


by Sam Tudor