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Direct Entry Apprenticeships

We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to develop their skills, knowledge and expertise. An apprenticeship can help people achieve their long-term career aspirations.

We offer apprenticeships to individuals at all levels – from school/college leavers taking their first steps into the health service, those seeking job/career change, those wanting a career progression route and to our existing members of staff who want to enhance their skills and future prospects.

The Trust is proud of its apprenticeship programmes.  As outlined on the Welcome to CUH Apprenticeship page there are two main types:

  • Direct Entry
  • Career Progression

This page focuses on the direct entry apprenticeship route.

Direct Entry apprenticeships at CUH

These apprenticeships start at education level 2 or level 3, for further information on the levels see apprenticeships explained; roles can include working in clinical areas, supporting clinical functions or corporate services.   Some have direct contact with patients and staff.  No previous hospital or related work experience is necessarily required.

You will work alongside a range of professions in the NHS;  other administrators, clinical and support staff who will support, train and mentor you as well as receiving a full study programme with the training provider/college who provide the apprenticeship standard for the relevant apprenticeship.

These roles are recruited to at various time throughout the year. The Standards offered alongside them, include amongst others:

  • Business Administration or Customer service
  • Pharmacy
  • Healthcare Science or Lab Technician
  • Estates and Facilities (for example carpentry and plumbing)

For more details on these please visit Apprenticeships.

These apprenticeships offer a full-time, fixed term contract ranging between 15 and 24 months depending on apprenticeship specialism.

All apprentices are provided with:

  • a comprehensive induction programme and access to additional in-house training courses
  • support by an education provider/college to complete the apprenticeship occupational standard
  • support from their line manager and team
  • pastoral support and guidance from the Work Opportunities Team

These are fixed term posts; CUH offers advice and guidance to enable direct entry apprentices to apply for permanent positions at CUH and access to further development (further information below).

Salary for direct entry apprenticeships

First 12 months of employment £14,400 per annum (CUH Apprenticeship pay rate as at 2023 -24)

After 12 months service, the following annual salary will apply based on the apprentice's age (this is based on the national minimum/living wage for the UK applicable from 1st April 2024):
• For those aged 17 & 18 – 20 years of age £16,815
• Aged 21+ £22,368

We encourage and support direct entry apprentices to consider future employment and training with CUH. We provide practical and pastoral support during the apprenticeship as well as advice and guidance to apply for jobs towards the end of the apprenticeship.

Direct entry apprentices may be successful in securing employment in a Band 2 or Band 3 role either during or after their completion of the apprenticeship. The starting salary (2023-24 pay rates) for a Band 2 post is £22,383 and a Band 3 post is £22,816 with pay step progression and opportunities for further advancement. We have been able to support many of our apprentices into permanent employment through this route and see them develop their career at CUH.

Are you eligible to apply?

Due to government funding regulations important criteria for apprenticeship candidates are:

  • must live in the UK
  • must have proof of right to work in the UK and have had UK or EU residency for the last three years
  • must not be taking part in full time education during the time of the contract

In order to meet the demands of the job role at CUH and qualification candidates must:

  • meet the requirements of the Person Specification related to the job role
  • have a good standard of education including a minimum Grade 3/D in English and math’s or equivalent *

*Further support and signposting will be offered to applicants or enquiries from those who do not meet these criteria.

Frequently asked questions

What will my hours be?

For a full-time contract your hours of work will be 37.5 per week. This includes any time you may need to spend in a classroom or conducting your studies, classed as ‘off the job learning’.  If you need to work part time for any reason we will consider this depending upon your circumstances and the role you occupy; this cannot be less than 30 hours per week according to apprenticeship requirements).

What other benefits will I receive?
  • No expense on course fees – these are paid by CUH; you earn and, learn
  • Opportunity to undertake general in-house training and shadowing opportunities
  • Support with application and interview techniques and applying for permanent job roles.
  • Extensive pastoral care. The Work Opportunities Team will be part of your support network and will help you at any stage of your apprenticeship, from settling in on your first day to any concerns you may have throughout your apprenticeship.
  • NHS Discounts – as per any employee in the Trust you will be entitled to NHS related discount codes including local offers given to the hospital
  • NUS Discounts – as an apprentice you can sign up for an apprentice NUS card and receive alternative discount offers as student.


  • No college or university debt
  • Opportunity to undertake general in-house training along with specific skills such as interview techniques etc.
  • Extensive pastoral care. The Work Opportunities Team will be part of your support network and will help you at any stage of your apprenticeship, from settling in on your first day to any concerns you may have throughout your apprenticeship.

A job with CUH is not guaranteed after the completion of the apprenticeship contract, although a high percentage of apprentices do gain further employment here. You will be offered application and interview training and assistance with job searches towards the end of your apprenticeship.

Is an apprenticeship at CUH right for me?

The Trust and our training providers will fully support you in your apprenticeship but it is important to know that this is an exciting opportunity that you must take full ownership of.  We expect our apprentices to meet the following behaviours:

  • Express a real enthusiasm in wishing to learn about the Trust and the careers available here.
  • Show ability in taking pride in your work and developing your aspirations.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to your Apprenticeship qualification, job role, and the Trust’s core values and behaviours. This is explained in more detail below.

At application and interview stage we will be looking for apprentices who understand and show an appreciation of the Trust’s values


National Apprenticeship Week

Take a look
Six apprentices at CUH 2022