APPRENTICESHIPS (Future Workforce)


   Event to introduce the apprenticeship scheme for Lewisham practices

  • Lewisham CEPN is working in partnership with Lewisham Council to present their Lewisham Apprenticeship Scheme for GP, pharmaceutical, optical and dental practices. This introduction will take place three times on Thursday 2nd June 2016 at:        St. Dunstan’s Jubilee Ground, Canadian Avenue, Catford SE6 4SW, at 13 00hr, 14 30hr and 17 30hr.
  • Refreshments will be provided and there is good parking.
  • You will be introduced to the award-winning scheme set up by Lewisham Council and will have an opportunity to have your questions answered. The whole cycle will take no longer than an hour. Attendance at the event does mean that you are obliged to sign up to employ an apprentice.
  • We look forward to seeing you there. If you would like to discuss anything in the meantime, please contact
  • Please see below for more information about apprenticeships.

What are my responsibilities as an employer?

Apprentices need support and encouragement to develop competency in their assigned role. The younger ones may not have prior work experience and may be the youngest member of staff in the practice by quite a margin. Not all apprentices will be young, however. Lewisham has a rich pool of older people returning to work, or perhaps working for the first time. They too may need support, although they will have significantly more life experience that the younger apprentices, which may ease the transition.

Apprenticeship contracts last between 1 year and 18 months in this programme. Apprentices are not given permanent contracts immediately, and are thus incentivised to work hard. At the end of the apprenticeship period, it is hoped that the practice will keep the apprentice on as a permanent employee.

Please note that if apprentices do not get the training and support that was agreed at the start of the apprenticeship period, they can be moved elsewhere, by their college (who send a mentor periodically to their place of work, to work with them and discuss their progress with the employer), by Lewisham Council (whose award-winning scheme we are joining, and which has quality standards attached to it) and by Lewisham CEPN (who are coordinating the apprenticeship programme for GP, optometry, pharmacy and dentistry practices).

Please also note that if the apprentice is not performing to the required standard, the employer will be supported by the training college, Lewisham Council and Lewisham CEPN to ensure that the standard is reached. If it is not reached after appropriate intervention, the employer can end the apprenticeship contract. We will be working very hard to ensure that only the best candidates reach the interview stage and that they are fully supported to deliver everything that is expected of them.

There is a national  minimum wage for apprentices, which is different to the standard minimum wage. However, the Lewisham CEPN scheme, in partnership with Lewisham Council, requires that apprentices be paid a living wage, in order to motivate and retain them. This is in line with Health Education England South London policy. The local agreement that you will have with Lewisham CEPN in order to benefit from this scheme requires that apprentices be paid not less than £6.70 per hour.

Please note that £1500 funding is available to employers for every apprentice, up to a maximum of 5, this year only.


What happens now?

Having read the information on this website, please consider whether you would like to discuss the matter further. Apprenticeship candidates will be robustly worked up in the coming months (to ensure they have adequate professional and basic skills to enter the workforce) and available for interview by practices in May/June, ready for a start date in July/August.

More information will be available in the coming weeks, both on this website and sent directly to practices by email. Please contact if you require any further information.