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New midwife apprenticeship: the birth of a new route to midwifery

The first midwife degree apprenticeship was launched in January 2020.

New midwife apprenticeship: the birth of a new route into midwifery

Doctor looking at a tablet

Midwife apprenticeship: the birth of a new route into midwifery

The roll-out of Midwife degree-level apprenticeships is becoming an effective tool in tackling an “exodus” of professionals leaving industry – while ensuring maximum safety of mums and babies.  

The courses combine apprenticeship learning with studying towards a degree with seven universities across the UK. The aim is to provide an alternative route into the profession and encourage more NHS staff to train to become qualified midwives. 

It’s a way of recruiting and retaining talented people at a time of unprecedented pressure on NHS services. Demand for personalised maternity care is growing, but the number of applications for midwives in England dropped 35% between 2013 and 2018.  

Who can apply to be a midwifery apprentice?

Midwifery Degree Apprenticeships are available to all maternity support workers, or other healthcare workers, employed by the NHS.


Who pays for the apprenticeship?

Demand for midwives is so high that Degree apprentices in the sector don’t have to pay for their studies.  

Instead, your NHS trust, which they will support, will pay the university its course fee using your apprenticeship levy. Student midwives won’t accrue any student debt and will be paid to work while they train. 

Heather Bower from the University of Greenwich said: “This exciting new programme will offer an alternative route to obtaining an undergraduate degree in midwifery and provide an important incentive for maternity support workers to train to become qualified midwives. Not only will the apprentice be earning a wage, they’ll also be exempt from paying the course fees.” 


What does the course cover?

Midwifery degree apprenticeships last four years, and cover the same content as traditional three-year Bachelor of Science (BSc) degrees. Apprentices split their time between learning on the ward and at university, and complete an end-point assessment to pass their course. 

The courses are changing the way midwives are trained in the UK. In parallel, we see the development of alternatives such as a 21-month degree apprenticeship for adult nurses who are already registered with the NMC to help even more candidates enrol. 

It’s hard to find negatives about Degree-level midwifery apprenticeships. This is a clear route to transform the profession, increase the number of student midwives and improve maternity care across the NHS. 

And OneFile is here to support you every step of the way in using your levy to deliver NHS apprenticeships, then track your candidates’ activity. 


To find out more about using your levy to deliver NHS apprenticeships, download your apprenticeship levy starter pack: NHS edition

Download guide

Or if you’re thinking of applying to the degree midwife apprenticeship, download our top tips to applying for an apprenticeship.  

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This article includes research and opinion sourced by OneFile at the time of publication. Things may have changed since then,
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