West Yorkshire Police includes degree as part of new recruitment pathway

Three hundred new police officers are being recruited by West Yorkshire Police, and for the first time officers will study for a degree as part of their training.

The new training pathway is being launched to equip student officers with the skills needed to tackle increasingly sophisticated crime, and is in line with the national aim to make policing a recognised professional career.

The trainees will be trained and mentored by experienced police officers at West Yorkshire Police’s Learning and Development Centre at Carr Gate, Wakefield and by academics at Leeds Trinity University. They will complete a three-year Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship and will be a paid police officer from day one, with all university fees being met by the force.

The force is reaching out to all sections of the community and is really keen to better represent the communities it serves.

Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams said, “It is a really exciting time to join the force, and our new recruitment pathway will give budding police officers the chance to ‘earn while they learn’. This is a great opportunity for anyone who has ever considered becoming a police officer to join us and see what an exciting and rewarding role it is.

“I have been a police officer here in West Yorkshire for 28 years and I can honestly say I’ve loved every moment. Every shift is different and challenging, but also rewarding.

“Being a police officer really is a job like no other and our Police Constable Degree Apprenticeships will prepare and train officers to deal with evolving serious and complex crime.

“As it’s a three-year apprenticeship, it allows our new officers to specialise as they move through the degree and they can look towards being a Detective, a Roads Policing Officer or a specialist working in our Neighbourhood teams.”

The recruitment window will open in July and the first trainee officers will be appointed to the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship programme in April 2020.

The starting salary for officers on the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship is from £18,000, with incremental annual increases leading to a salary of £24,654 on successful completion of the programme and confirmation in role.

A new Degree Holder Entry Programme will also open later this year to allow those who already hold a non-policing degree to complete a two-year learning programme to become a qualified police officer.

To become a police officer, you need to be 18 (at the time of application), have a level 3 qualification or equivalent or have experience as a PCSO or Special Constable, have no criminal convictions (minor offences will be considered on a case-by-case basis), meet our attendance record and be able to pass a job-related fitness test.

Professor Margaret A House OBE, Vice-Chancellor at Leeds Trinity University, said, “Leeds Trinity has always been committed to transforming lives and benefitting our local community, so we are very proud to work with West Yorkshire Police on training the next cohort of police constables.

“We have developed a programme of policing that is relevant, inspiring and impactful, and we’re looking forward to welcoming the first cohort of police apprentices next year.”