County's first police apprentices will be trained at UCLan
Preston will be seeing an influx of new police recruits.
The city-based University of Central Lancashire is spearheading the county's first Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA).
The programme has been designed in conjunction with the College of Policing and, working with Lancashire Constabulary, the university will deliver the academic side of the apprenticeship at the Preston campus over three years.
The degree is the first of its kind in Lancashire and will initially involve 35 students . It will lead to students graduating with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Professional Policing Practice degree while at the same time they will qualify as fully fledged police officers.
They will start with a 10 week in-class programme as part of the new apprenticeship , managed by UCLan and will also be working on the streets of Lancashire.
The first group of students were officially sworn in at a special attestation ceremony at Lancashire Police headquarters at Hutton, near Preston.
Among those attending the ceremony were Lancashire Police Chief Constable Andy Rhodes and Professor Ian Allison executive dean, Faculty of Science and Technology at UCLan.
Professor Ian Allison said: “It’s fantastic to have been selected by Lancashire Constabulary to deliver degree apprenticeships as part of the Police Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF).
“The development of this innovative degree apprenticeship in the Police Service, has involved a strong collaboration between Lancashire Constabulary, UCLan and the College of Policing in its governance role as the professional body for the service. This has ensured accreditation and quality in both design and delivery and is an exciting time for all involved in the move towards greater professionalisation of the service.”
Lancashire Constabulary’s Chief Constable Andy Rhodes said: "The energy and commitment of our new colleagues is matched only by their obvious quality with many of them having spent several years trying to join Lancashire Constabulary. Our recruitment plan will hopefully see many more recruits joining us over the next 18 months."
Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw added: "Police officers come from all walks of life and work around the clock to keep people safe. Investing in our officers will always be a top priority and this new recruiting process is a good opportunity to gain hands on operational policing experience, whilst at the same time obtaining valuable academic qualifications to equip officers with the skills necessary to manage the increasing demands of modern policing."