Let's not fear policing becoming a graduate entry job
I've been listening to a debate on apprenticeships and degree entry for policing at Ryton-on-Dunsmore in Warwickshire today.
It made me reflect that I served two apprenticeships, back to back.
Firstly I joined Hoover as a management trainee. As part of that apprenticeship I spent six months each year working in various departments and six months at college.
At the end of the apprenticeship I was awarded a degree, part of which was for a research project on behalf of Hoover.
I had joined Hoover because I wanted to pursue a career in personnel management.
But as a result of my experiences at work, and the enjoyment I gained from exposure to the world of business finance, my final project was about predicting cash flow for the company.
As I had only rudimentary access to computing power, I decided to seek a second apprenticeship as a chartered accountant. I joined the city firm of Turquand Barton & Mayhew as an articled clerk.
I worked during the day on audits and studied in the evenings with a block release to college for a couple of months before each exam. After a resit of the final exams I qualified as a chartered accountant.
When we talk about appenticeships, I'm a firm supporter. A degree in policing might be the award achieved from a successful apprenticeship.
Let's not be frightened by policing becoming a graduate entry profession, but ensure the entry is available to people from a wide range of backgrounds and is not based solely on academic ability at the point of entry.