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Boots launches pharmacy technician apprenticeship scheme

Boots will welcome 70 pharmacy technician apprentices into branches across four areas of the UK in September, it has announced.

The health and beauty giant is piloting a new two-year pharmacy technician apprenticeship scheme for “young people aged 18-24 who have a passion for community healthcare”, it said yesterday (July 19).

Applications for the programme – which will be piloted across the Midlands, “eastern England”, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, and Wales – “have officially opened” for the September start date, Boots added.

The scheme will equip apprentices with the “skills and qualifications” to support the pharmacists and pharmacy teams in Boots, it said.

Apprentices who complete Boots' Pharmacy Technicians Healthcare Apprenticeship programme will graduate with a level 3 technical certificate in pharmaceutical science and a NVQ level 3 in pharmacy service skills.

They can then be professionally registered as a pharmacy technician on the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) register, it said.

"The future of pharmacy"

Commenting on the programme, Boots pharmacy director Richard Bradley said: “We’re looking for young people who will be the future of pharmacy to join our business. This is an exciting opportunity for young people who are looking for a brilliant platform to launch their careers in community healthcare.”

Apprentices will also be eligible for free membership of the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK) while training, Boots confirmed.

APTUK president Tess Fenn said she is “delighted” with the new apprenticeship programme, “as the role of pharmacy technicians is expanding and evolving at a pace that is required to meet the healthcare needs of a growing population”.

In 2015, Boots committed to creating 350 apprenticeships, with each of the participating 16-18-year-olds becoming a ‘pharmacy advisor’ once they complete their apprenticeship.

C+D caught up with Ms Fenn at the APTUK conference earlier this month. Watch the video below to find out what she considers to be the greatest challenges facing pharmacy technicians.

What do you make of Boots' pharmacy technician apprenticeship programme?

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