Apprentices make a big impact at Derbyshire Police Headquarters

Apprentices Matt and Ryan get jobs in Forensics

A group of 11 Learning Unlimited apprentices have made a big impact at Derbyshire Police headquarters in Ripley. Following up to 18 months of work based learning, they have secured exciting jobs supporting law enforcement in a range of roles from forensics to casualty reduction.

Derbyshire Constabulary and the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner, who funded one extra place recognised the need to attract a younger demographic to their workforce and give them the skills they needed. Kirsty Norman, HR Leadership and Talent Officer, told us: “Taking on apprentices offered so many benefits for us. We wanted to make sure we made the most of the young people’s talents that were coming to us. We asked each department to identify what an apprentice could do for them and what value the role would bring to the organisation. This helped us to make sure that there was a real job to do and that the apprentices would gain the valuable skills that we needed.”

Ryan, aged 20 from Derby, one of the new recruits who did his apprenticeship in the forensics team told us: “I had all sorts of ideas about what I would actually be allowed to do before I started and imagined it might involve making more than my fair share of cups of tea for the team but I couldn’t have been more wrong! From the very first day I have felt like a valued member of the team and I have been given lots of responsibility which really helped me to learn quickly. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the apprenticeship. I feel really proud that the team feel I am capable of playing a part in this really important part of policing. I am already mentoring graduates who have studied forensics for years at university.”

Many of the apprentices describe how this opportunity offered them the only way to get the experience they needed to get their dream job. Matt, aged 19, who works as an imaging officer said: “I chose an apprenticeship because I wanted to get a qualification and experience that was really specific to what I wanted to do. I couldn’t see the point of getting a qualification that didn’t give me relevant skills. I feel that I have made myself much more employable!”

Working with Learning Unlimited helped Derbyshire Constabulary to recruit quality candidates and support them through the learning programme. Each of the apprentices said that monthly meetings with their tutor and use of the electronic portfolio made it easy to see the progress they had made and what they had to do next so that they could manage studying and work.

Kirsty Norman told us: “The support of Learning Unlimited has really helped us to get the most out our apprentices. They helped us to find the right people and develop them into really valuable members of the police team. Every department who took on apprentices has told me that they really benefited from the fresh ideas the apprentices brought with them and that managers have learned from the experience too.”

For more information about how apprenticeships can work for you call 0845 8501055 or visit