Pharmacy Apprenticeships Opportunity: Upskilling your pharmacy workforce

From May 2017, pharmacy employers across all sectors of pharmacy will be able to utilise the Government Apprenticeship Levy or Co-investment to support training costs for pharmacy assistants

These new payment systems replace a number of complex funding rules which have previously been a barrier to apprenticeship train-ing in community pharmacy i.e. age related funding eligibility

For further guidance about using apprenticeships in community pharmacy, you can contact Laura McEwen-Smith at

Want to know more? Use the hyperlinks in the flyer attached here for up-to-date government information.

Apprenticeships are a cost-effective way of investing in your future pharmacy workforce. From May 2017:

 Simplified models of paying for apprenticeship training

 No age related funding limitations – so long as individuals meet the apprenticeship funding criteria they can be any age.

 A £1000 government incentive is offered to community pharmacies employing 16-18 year olds or those that meet certain demographic criteria.

 The government will pay 100% of training costs for community pharmacy employers with less than 50 staff that employ 16-18 year olds and 90% for all other non-levy paying employers.

 Employer flexibility over wages for the apprenticeship year (not restricted by minimum wage for age)

Apprenticeship Levy

All employers with an annual pay bill of more than £3 million will pay a mandatory levy. This will be at 0.5%of the total pay bill and paid through PAYE. This money can be claimed back only for the purposes of funding apprenticeship training and assessment.

Co-Investment Model

Non-levy paying employers can make a 10% contribution to the cost of the training and the government will pay the rest (90%), up to the maximum amount of government funding available for that apprenticeship.

Most independent community pharmacy employers will be eligible to fund apprenticeship training using the co-investment model

There are currently two Frameworks that can be used to train pharmacy staff using the apprenticeship route

 Health Pharmacy Services Level 2 (Pharmacy Assistant)

 Health Pharmacy Services Level 3 (Pharmacy Technician)