CIEH launches employer's toolkit for environmental health apprenticeships

13 July 2021, Tamara Sandoul

CIEH has published its new environmental health apprenticeship toolkit for employers in England to encourage more organisations to take on an apprentice and help to train the next generation of Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs).

The findings from a recent CIEH workforce survey suggest that local authority employers face difficulties in the recruitment of qualified and experienced EHPs:

  • 9 out of 10 environmental health teams in England used agency staff last year because of shortages in resources or delays in recruitment, while 56% of local authorities reported that they had vacancies that were left unfilled for six months or more
  • However, in 2019/20, 70% of local authorities did not take on any apprentices in environmental health. Other survey data suggests that there are even fewer environmental health apprentices in the private sector

Responding to the findings of its workforce survey, CIEH has set out to develop a toolkit of resources for employers to encourage employers to take on more apprentices in environmental health. It provides employers with practical guidance on how to go through the process from start to finish.

The toolkit has been put together with the help of environmental health team leaders and heads of service, who themselves have gone through the process of recruiting an apprentice, and includes an Employer’s guide, a candidate pack, a sample job description and job advert template.

CIEH has also published supporting guest blog posts from Una Kane FRSPH, Environmental Health Manager, Environmental Health Service for Rother and Wealden Councils on Making the business case for an apprenticeship and Wayne Pobi, Team leader in Private Sector Housing Standards, London Borough of Newham on Top tips for effective recruitment.

Dr Phil James, Chief Executive at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, said:

“We are very excited to be launching this set of resources, which we hope will both help and encourage employers to recruit more apprentices in environmental health. We have heard that there are difficulties with recruitment, yet only a minority of employers are currently using apprenticeships in environmental health.

Apprenticeships should be a win-win for both employer and apprentice and more apprenticeship posts now are vital to train the next generation of EHPs.

However, setting up an apprenticeship for the first time can seem like a challenge, which is why we want to simplify the process. Our new toolkit is a great opportunity for employers to get first-hand tips and benefit from the experience of others, who have gone through the process already.”

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