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British Pharmacological Society shows support for National Apprenticeship Week, with strong progress in development of trail-blazing scheme for clinical pharmacologists.

Published: 04 Mar 2019 in Society news

Substantial progress is being made in the development of the new national apprenticeship standard for the role of clinical pharmacological scientist.

The crucial work in developing the scheme comes as the UK government celebrates apprenticeships across the country, with its annual National Apprenticeship Week.

Approval for the clinical pharmacologist apprenticeship was announced in January, following a drive led by the Clinical Pharmacology Skills Alliance (CPSA), a group comprising the British Pharmacological Society, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine (FPM) and Health Education England (HEE).

The apprenticeship is aimed at addressing issues such as the lack of a career pathway, the lack of formal training, and a lack of understanding of the role itself, and therefore reflects the government’s ambitions of providing and highlighting access to new career opportunities.

Work is now continuing at pace on developing the knowledge, skills and behaviours that will make up the clinical pharmacology apprenticeship.

Dr Anna Zecharia, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at the British Pharmacological Society, said:

The theme of National Apprenticeship Week is ‘Blaze a Trail’, and with our partners across the industry in the CPSA, we are doing just that. The clinical pharmacology apprenticeship will shine a light on the opportunity for scientists to play a leading role in clinical research and clinical trials. We hope the new apprenticeship will increase the visibility of this exciting career and attract the high-skilled candidates the UK needs to realise its ambitions in the life sciences. This can only serve to benefit scientists, pharmacological employers and public health as a whole.

The clinical pharmacologist apprenticeship is also supported by the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries, which highlighted the skills gap in its recent Skills Report.

Dr Sheuli Porkess, Deputy Chief Scientific Officer at the ABPI, said:

Companies are increasingly turning to apprenticeships as a way of securing the skills they need to develop the medicines of the future. I was delighted by the approval for the development of the apprenticeship standard for the role of Clinical Pharmacology Scientist, and I look forward to seeing progress in development of the scheme, which will be a tangible step towards addressing the skills gap.