The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has taken a bold step and asked the College of Policing, the body that regulates training and entry standards for police forces in the UK, for permission to offer higher apprenticeships to those interested in joining the force.
The Met says it is keen to open up another recruitment channel by offering Higher apprenticeships that would allow recruits to train on the job at a reduced salary.
“The MPS fully supports the concept of entry on a high level apprenticeship scheme,” said Chief Supt Rob Atkin in a letter to the College. “The MPS feels this will ensure that those without a traditional academic background and/or from underrepresented groups would still view policing as a viable career choice.”
Apprentice levy considerations
Part of the enthusiasm for the scheme may lie in the awareness that police forces will be liable to pay the Apprentice Levy once it comes into force, and will only qualify for a refund on the 0,5% of their wage bill if they have a functioning apprentice scheme in place. Other police forces, including those in Scotland and Greater Manchester have already some form of apprenticeships in place.
But Atkins is certainly keen to drive the idea forward, writing to the College, “The MPS would like to see the higher level apprentice scheme fast tracked and we the MPS would like the College to work alongside us to pilot this concept as soon as possible.”
The College of Policing is currently examining the routes to entry for aspirant police recruits, and is actively looking not only at apprentice schemes, but also at degrees and conversions from other forces. Further details on that process is expected later in the year.