More than 40 new police officers from South Wales Police are celebrating after completing their initial training under an innovative apprenticeship programme.
Some 44 recruits attended a passing out parade at the Swalec Stadium in Cardiff on Friday 13 December as part of the UK’s first Home Office Policing Apprenticeship.
The parade, marking the first step towards becoming fully-trained police officers, celebrated the officers who have completed their initial training as part of the Level 3 Apprenticeship in Home Office Policing, known as ‘The Bridge’.
This apprenticeship has been developed by Sector Skills Council Skills for Justice, in partnership with the four Welsh police forces.
Currently being piloted within Wales by South Wales Police and two other forces, this is the first apprenticeship ever to be developed for police officers in the UK.
A total of 159 new officers from South Wales Police are in the process of completing the apprenticeship, which is being piloted along with two other Welsh forces. In doing so, they will be undertaking an accredited and more standardised approach to training for new recruits.
Justine Burgess, Programme Lead at Skills for Justice said: “I would like to congratulate all of the police officers who are attending this passing out parade.
“It is fantastic to see officers progressing through the apprenticeship programme.
“All South Wales Police officers on the apprenticeship programme have undertaken the same training, so they will benefit from a consistent approach to their development. This is brilliant for the officers, and also for the public who will benefit from consistent policing standards.”
The 44 officers include 43 former Police Community Support Officers and 1 Special Constable.
Chief Constable Peter Vaughan said: “In their former roles within the police family the officers have already made a significant contribution to our mission to Keep South Wales safe.
“Their arrival as new police officers in such significant numbers will be very much welcomed by the communities they will continue to serve.
“By further increasing our visibility and accessibility they will contribute greatly to a continually improving sense of confidence and security.”
Assistant Director Phill Pyke QPM, who has responsibility for the training of initial police recruits in South Wales Police, said: “We are really pleased with the development of The Bridge project. “Late in 2014 we will be working again with Skills for Justice on the evaluation of the project.
“The progress so far is very encouraging and there are indications that initial training is getting real value from the Apprenticeship scheme.”
The pilot is funded by the Sector Priorities Fund Pilot as part of the European Social Fund (ESF) through the Welsh Government.