The development of a midwifery degree apprenticeship programme in England and its role in increasing access to the midwifery programme
More details
Hide details
Department of Health Sciences, University of Greenwich, London, United Kingdom
Publication date: 2023-10-24
Corresponding author
Elizabeth A Gale   

Department of Health Sciences, University of Greenwich, London, United Kingdom
Eur J Midwifery 2023;7(Supplement 1):A189
In 2017 the NHS bursary was stopped in England leading to a reduction in applications for midwifery, particularly amongst more mature candidates. There were a number of experienced and able maternity support workers interested in becoming midwives but discouraged by financial implications. The apprenticeship was developed to encourage local, mature students into midwifery, providing development for support workers who were already familiar with the demands of the service and had developed resilience. It supported widening participation and ‘transforming the maternity workforce of the future’ (HEE 2019).

Development and delivery:
Partnership working was essential involving Health Education England, Apprenticeship organisations, Nursing and Midwifery Council, Royal College of Midwives and the local NHS Trusts in the development phase. Apprentice students remained NHS employees and were recruited for the programme in joint interviews between the Trust and the university. They followed an identical degree programme as the other direct entry midwifery students within the university.

The first cohort of midwifery degree apprentices graduated in January 2023 and all are now in employment. In comparison to direct entry students, their academic attainment was comparable and attrition was lower. Feedback from NHS Trusts highlighted the MDAs proactive approach and resilience – Trusts have continued to support and increase the number of midwifery apprenticeships.

The authors acknowledge the contribution of our local Trust partners.
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
The development of the Midwifery Degree Apprenticeship programme was part funded by Health Education England.
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top