To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, applications are being accepted for a new apprenticeship pathway for those looking to become a paramedic in the South West of England.

The South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT), in collaboration with the University of Cumbria, is offering a new, one-year innovative programme, providing a unique opportunity to enter the ambulance service for people in the Burnham-On-Sea area and Somerset.

Students completing the course will gain a Certificate of Higher Education in Emergency Care, before taking up paid employment with SWASFT, as an Emergency Care Assistant, and after 12 months, they will automatically secure a spot on the Paramedic Degree Apprenticeship, which is fully funded by the Trust.

Lucy Manning, Director of People Operations at the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT), said: “We are committed to making the role of paramedic more accessible to all.”

“We know that not every pathway will be right for every person, so the more we offer, the more people will have the opportunity to join the ambulance service as a paramedic.”

“This is an exciting new pathway with the University of Cumbria, providing an alternative route into the service, where students will be supported by the university to develop the appropriate skills and knowledge to access employment.”

“As part of the course, people will gain real-life experience of pre-hospital emergency care through placements with SWASFT in Wiltshire, Somerset, or Dorset.”

“This route may be suitable for someone who is leaving education or the armed forces and looking to re-train for a new career in emergency healthcare.”

Associate Professor, Paramedicine, Tom Davidson at the University of Cumbria, said: “As the largest provider of paramedic apprenticeships in the UK, we are delighted to be working in collaboration with the South Western Ambulance Service, to offer new pathways that will help to upskill and reskill employees and recruits which in turn develops the workforce of the region and the NHS frontline sector.”

SWASFT is committed to ensuring its workforce is diverse and reflective of the communities it serves, and takes into account educational preferences, learning styles and learning support needs during its recruitment process.

To apply or find out more information on the apprenticeship pathway programme, please visit:  or see

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