Force welcomes new cohort of Police Constable Degree Apprentices
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Leicestershire Police has welcomed the force’s 7th cohort of Police Constable Degree Apprentices.
The 20 students started their three-year course on Monday (2 October) which is delivered in partnership with DeMontfort University (DMU). The course consists of 80% on-the-job training with 20% of their time studying at DMU.
The degree apprenticeship is approved and fully funded by the College of Policing and the students start on a salary of £28,551 as fully warranted police officers. The course covers areas that are critical to effective policing in the 21st century reflecting the increasing complex demands required of the police service. They will spend 25 weeks in the classroom followed by 12 weeks on operational duty in company with another experienced officer.
Assistant Chief Constable Michaela Kerr welcomed the apprentices on their very first morning. She told them; “You have chosen an amazing career. You are going to be given lots of opportunity to learn, you will grow significantly and try new things. You will be offered training of the highest standard and I would urge you to grasp all the opportunities throughout your career with both hands.
“This job is not without its challenges, but you are now part of an incredible police family where you will get support and extra help if you need it so don’t be afraid to ask. The wellbeing of our officers and staff is very important to us, after all we are just human beings who wear a uniform.
“All of you come from different backgrounds and have different life experiences so please use those experiences to be empathetic and listen and use your own experience to make wise decisions and give a good service.”
Ashley Davies is 19 and applied for the degree apprenticeship after leaving college with a BTEC in uniformed services. He said he then took a year out; “I knew I wanted to be a police officer so I worked in McDonalds for a year as I’d missed the PCDA deadline in my last year at college so waited for it to come around again. I knew it would be a competitive route but wanted the financial stability while I was training and the guarantee of a job at the end.”
Najla Zuhair is also 19 and studied A Levels at college. She was born in Holland, where she played tennis to a very high standard and moved to Leicester when she was 11. She said; “I need to do a job that is very practical and not totally desk based. A police officer came to talk to us at college and really inspired me to apply to become an officer. I am very excited to be here. It still doesn’t feel real.”
Jordane Routh is 29 and was a Special Police Constable for three years based at Loughborough while working full time in a law firm. “I applied to become a regular officer but didn’t get through the process initially and the recruitment team suggested I become a Special, which I did and I loved it. That gave me so much experience and insight that when I applied again I got in. I deferred my place for two years as I have had a baby so I am very happy to finally be here.”
Nikki Bailey, programme lead for the PCDA at DMU, said; “It was great to join our partners Leicestershire Police in welcoming our new and 7th cohort of PCDA. It’s an incredible opportunity for us as a university to be able to provide the contextual and theoretical learning that student officers take forward into their operational duties. We’ve spent time over previous months redesigning the programme in collaboration with our colleagues at Leicestershire Police to ensure PCDA 7 will receive a gold-standard programme and, albeit intensive, an enjoyable learning experience. I’m really excited for the upcoming academic year and what it will bring, for us at DMU, the students and Leicestershire Police.”