University of Northampton’s first group of Policing Apprentices have spoken about their passion for the profession and why they signed up for the course, one week into their training.
The 19 students of the ‘Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship’ (PCDA) programme are fully warranted officers and were recruited by Northamptonshire Police.
The apprenticeship course, will be delivered by University of Northampton at the new £330m Waterside campus which opened in September this year.
Apprentices, who receive practical on-the-job learning alongside academic theory and knowledge while earning a wage, will have access to the full range of Police training facilities at Waterside. These include a role-play flat, an interview practice suite and access to ‘Hydra’ – an interactive, decision-making and problem solving system for professionals such as Police officers – the only one at a University in the Midlands and Eastern regions.
They will graduate with a degree in Professional Policing Practice in 2021, after successfully completing their probation with Northamptonshire Police.
PC David Silver, a Policing Apprentice originally from Nottingham, said of the experience: “It’s early days but, even though we are a small group, we are all in the same boat and have gelled really quickly. I’m definitely ready for more!
“I applied to join for what I felt were the right reasons. I see joining the force as an exciting and challenging career. The thought of a standard 9-5 office job is not for me. I also get to give something back and ‘do my bit’ for the community.”
PC David Silver shows his warrant card. To his right is Nick Adderley, Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police. To his left, is Justice of the Peace John Baker.
PC Malwina Hendrick, who lives in Corby, added: “Reading the oath was emotional as I’ve been planning for this moment for more than ten years and am very happy to finally say those words.
“Every one echoes why I want to join the force as I have always felt that this is something I’ve wanted to do. The training so far has been amazing and I’m very excited about the thought of studying at the new Waterside campus.”
PC Malwina Hendrick collecting her certificate from John Baker.
The apprentices were officially ‘sworn in’ at Northamptonshire Police Headquarters on Thursday 8 November, taking the official Police oath during an ‘attestation’ ceremony.
The oath means they will, amongst other requirements, uphold the law, prevent offences against person and property and serve the Queen, as all new constables recruited to the force in England, Wales and Northern Ireland do. (In Scotland, new recruits make a ‘declaration’).
Dr Steve O’Brien, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Society at University of Northampton, said: “We have a strong, long-standing relationship with Northamptonshire Police and have developed a number of academic programmes with them. Apprenticeships is a new avenue for us, but is part of a growing trend across several professions that we are very pleased to support. I wish every success to our first ever Policing Apprentices.”
Nick Adderley, Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, said: “It’s tremendous to see these wonderful individuals before us as fully warranted officers. The significance of holding that warrant card should not be underestimated as they are now very different people to who they were before. I look forward to following the progress of our Apprentices and thank the University of Northampton for helping us put them on this road and for the expert support they will receive during their studies.”
The PCDA is part of a programme of national changes of policing education and training, led by the College of Policing.
For those who are interested in finding out more about the next round of PCDA recruitment in the county, there is an information evening being held at Northamptonshire Police Headquarters on Tuesday 13 November.