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Scotland invests £3.4m into pharmacy technician training scheme

The Scottish government has invested £3.4 million into a programme that will see up to 150 pharmacy technicians trained and recruited this year.

The National Pre-registration Trainee Pharmacy Technician scheme will help trainees develop skills and gain experience within different pharmacy sectors including community pharmacy.

The funding will go “towards salaries and infrastructure” to help grow the Technical Apprenticeship in Pharmacy Services qualification, the government specified in a statement yesterday (March 8).

 

Read more: Scottish pharmacy chief: Delivering vaccinations not ‘best use of pharmacists' skills’

 

The first 50 trainees will join the scheme, which was developed by NHS Education for Scotland (NES), next month, while the remaining 100 will be recruited by September 2022. Funding is also available to upskill those who are already registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council, according to NES.

 

Ensuring “well-qualified workforce”

 

First minister Nicola Sturgeon said that “increasing the number of qualified pharmacy technicians is critical to ensuring a well-qualified workforce” when launching Scottish Apprenticeship Week yesterday.

“Growing our workforce is crucial, which is why we must increase the opportunities for our young people who wish to choose a career in the NHS such as pharmacy, with quality hands-on training to set them on their path,” added Ms Sturgeon – who met a group of pharmacy apprentices at the University Hospital Monklands, North Lanarkshire, yesterday.

Scotland’s chief pharmaceutical officer Alison Strath added that this investment and the “additional pipeline” of pharmacy technicians it will lead to their expanded role within GP practices.

Meanwhile, Harry McQuillan, CEO at Community Pharmacy Scotland, suggested that pharmacy owners “are likely to be attracted to this work-based apprenticeship model”.

“Our members will provide the pre-registration trainee pharmacy technicians with a rich and varied experience during their time in community pharmacy, which will prepare them well for any future role,” he said. 

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