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So you want to be a midwife?

For those of you thinking about pursuing a career in midwifery, the new, long-awaited Midwifery Apprenticeship is due to launch in 2019! Since the introduction of new Standards for Midwifery Education in 2020, creating this apprenticeship scheme has proved challenging for clinicians and midwives alike, but it’s here now and ready to attract new recruits!

The new midwifery apprenticeship programme has been created as a degree-level apprenticeship so there is still a requirement to gain a full degree before an individual can register with the NMC. With rapid rates of applications to midwifery falling by 35% over the last five years and a reduction in midwives from the EU (due to unpredictability regarding Brexit), the RCM are keen to revive interest in the field by offering this alternative route into the profession through the new apprenticeship programme.

If you are a student considering a career in healthcare, it means a HUGE saving of not having to pay fees of £9000 per year which has become a turn-off for many aspiring healthcare professionals. How does it work?

A midwifery apprenticeship is a work-based training programme which combines on-the-job training with a national recognised qualification. Tuition fees are paid for by Government funding or the employer and apprentices are paid a salary for their employment. And it’s not just midwifery – a nursing apprenticeship scheme was launched in 2016 and other opportunities in healthcare careers are now more widely available since Apprenticeship policy in the UK has changed.

The great aspect of these new routes to training also means that individuals will have exposure and opportunities to learn other important skills in their profession beyond the clinical including leadership and project management skills. These equally important attributes are sought out for senior positions in management so learning them on-the-job is a perfect way to start integrating them in to everyday working life, giving trainees exposure and opportunities to build on these skills.

How to apply

You would apply for degree apprenticeships in midwifery through individual NHS and other healthcare organisations.

Some healthcare organisations also run apprenticeships in health care/care and these may provide you with sufficient experience and qualifications to be able to apply for a pre-registration degree in midwifery or progress onto the midwifery degree apprenticeship.

To find current apprenticeship opportunities in the NHS, visit the NHS Jobs website and Find an apprenticeship website. You can also read more about Apprentices in Healthcare from Skills for Health.

Getting accepted on to an apprenticeship programme

Of course, you would still have to go through the application and interview process before being accepted on to a midwifery apprenticeship scheme as places will be competitive.

Typical questions could include:

• Why do you want to be a midwife? • Why have you chosen midwifery rather than paediatric nursing? • What do you know about the Nursing and Midwifery Council? • Describe a typical day for a midwife • What are the current issues affecting midwifery? • Tell us about your work experience • How have you researched midwifery as a career? • What will be the best and worst parts of being a midwife? • What are your strengths and weaknesses? • Tell us about a time when you had to demonstrate empathy • Give us an example of effective team-working • How do you cope with pressure and give us an example of when you have shown resilience? • What are your hobbies and interests? • What are your views on abortion?

If you are applying for a midwifery apprenticeship or any other healthcare role and would like help with your application and interview techniques, please do get in touch for bespoke one-to-one coaching sessions either in person or through skype.

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