Many of our members have expressed an interest in apprenticeships in the past. With the existing challenges that COVID-19 has presented to you we want to help meet the needs of our members in England to support the professional development of their pharmacy staff with our new exceptional package.

What does the NPA/Qube pharmacy retail apprenticeship include?

  • Free enrolment onto the NPA’s GPhC accredited Medicines counter assistant and Dispensary assistant courses for your student to complete on our interactive NPA Learning Academy eLearning platform
  • Enrolment onto a Level 2 Retail Apprenticeship with Qube Learning
  • Free or discounted recruitment service provided by Qube Talent; who will provide you with a bespoke pharmacy assistant job description and then a shortlist of qualified candidates
  • Fully funded tuition and assessment for the apprenticeship either via the Apprenticeship Levy or a Levy Donor; OR partially funded (95%) via a 5% contribution to the course from the employer*
  • Free legally approved apprentice employment contract
  • A point of contact and support throughout the whole process right up to the student qualifying
  • No Employer’s NI liability for any apprentice up to the age of 25 earning less than £40k pa

Eligibility and application criteria (updated 22.10.21)

Any new recruit commencing employment between 01.04.21 and 30.09.21 (and who has not worked in the previous six months) will attract an additional incentive (see below) provided they start the apprenticeship before 30.11.21.

In addition, new employees commencing employment from 1.10.21 will be eligible for these incentives provided that they are employed and enrolled onto an apprenticeship by 31.1.22.

  • Employers will receive £3K for any new apprentice over 16 plus £1K for taking on an apprentice aged 16-18
  • This means that a new recruit who is enrolled on an apprenticeship before their 19th birthday will attract a total of £4k with the two incentives combined – in line with the dates shown above.
  • Apprentices under the age of 25 and earning below £40k p.a. incur no Employer’s National Insurance liability in their first year of study.

Your only costs will be:

  • The apprentice’s salary
  • If the apprentice should fail their end point assessment, a retake charge is incurred
  • A small charge for recruitment for any apprentice over the age of 19 = £250.00
  • *if a levy donor is not found, the employer pays a small 5% contribution to the course (£197)

View our funding table to see what you can claim for.

Apprentice testimonial 

The following testimonial was kindly provided by Bethany, a Day Lewis apprentice on the NPA/Qube Pharmacy retail apprenticeship:

‘I am really enjoying the Pharmacy retail apprenticeship so far. The apprenticeship has definitely helped my role. It was made me more aware about retail legislation and has really helped my conversations with customers.’

‘My apprenticeship tutor is great; she always replies very quickly and provides me with extra information and tips.’

‘The NPA courses fit my work well because I spend one week in the dispensary and one week over the counter. I like that they are available online, because I can use them on my tablet and take it anywhere with me. I can see a long term career in pharmacy as I really enjoy learning about the different medicines, over the counter and in the dispensary – it’s something that really interests me.’

Our brochure introduces you to the new pharmacy retail apprenticeship – download your copy.

Please read our FAQs for more details. Alternatively you can view the funding that is available for apprenticeships here. You can find more information from:

If you wish to read more about the Retailer Level 2 apprenticeship, download Qube’s brochure here.

To learn more about the benefits of employing an apprentice, view our Little known facts about apprenticeships.

You can find out more about our Recommended Business Partner Qube Learning here.