What are apprenticeships?

  • apprenticeships offer structured training with an employer and lead to nationally recognised qualifications
  • apprenticeships can take anything from one to four years to complete
  • they are open to anyone from the age of 16
  • apart from learning in the workplace, you may go on day or block release to a training centre or college
  • you work towards a competence qualification (based on what you can do in the workplace) and a knowledge qualification, or a qualification combining both elements
  • you will develop your skills, including English and maths
  • if you are aged 16 to 18 or 19+ and in your first year of an apprenticeship, you should receive at least the National Minimum Wage for apprentices (£3.70 an hour (as at April 2018). Otherwise you are entitled to the National Minimum Wage rate for your age. Many employers pay well over the minimum

IPEM Membership is free for all apprentices (Associate Level) so click here to join!

Apprenticeships as a route into Healthcare Science

This document gives you more details about the different levels of apprenticeships which can lead to a career in physics or engineering in medicine.  There are options for post GCSE or equivalent, post A-levels or equivalent and post degree opportunities.

Download the document here

In addition to the existing routes listed in the document the National School for Healthcare Science, in conjunction with Skills for Health, is starting a new project to develop a level 7 apprenticeship standard leading to registration as a Clinical Scientist. Several employers and professional bodies, including IPEM, have identified the need to help address workforce shortages and skill gaps in healthcare science in this way. This is basically one alternative to the existing STP training.



Case Studies

George Stewart
George’s educational career began with studying A-Levels with a view to entering the Engineering Industry. After completing his A-Levels, George decided to pursue his goal of becoming an Engineer. This is when George started in his current job role of Apprentice Radiotherapy Engineer at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester. He chose the Apprenticeship route as he wanted to ensure he learned both academic, but also practical, skills including how to effectively use hand tools, along with other factors such as fault finding and other work based skills. 

Both George’s parents have worked in the NHS and he says the feeling of helping others, makes for a much more rewarding career than standard engineering. Whilst attending college on a day release basis, George has been working alongside more qualified engineers at the Christie, gaining valuable experience and working on a range of equipment.   To read the full story click here

Bradie Cunningham

The first ever apprentice at Bradford Teaching Hospitals joined the trust in September 2016, and is studying for a BSc in Healthcare Science (Clinical Engineering) at the University of the West of England while learning on the job.  

“I really enjoy working as part of the team at the Trust and the work I do complements what I’m learning on my course. My colleagues have been a big help and often read over my assignment work and I also get a day-and-a-half each week to study.  “However, I do do nine hour days at work on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays!”

“I would urge any girls looking at a career in engineering to go for it. The great thing about engineering is that there are many different types. Applying to be an engineer at the Trust was one of the best decisions I have ever made!"  

More Information

Find out more about general NHS apprenticeships here:

Find out more about specific medical science based NHS based apprenticeships here:

Watch a video about 4 apprentices in an NHS Trust

Find out more about general apprenticeships here:


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