‘You’ll find a family with the police’ – Recruitment drive opens for student officers
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A recruitment drive is underway for police officers – with successful applicants able to complete a degree while working.
Staffordshire Police is accepting applications for the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) programme which allows student officers to put into practice the theory they learn in the classroom while developing their own skills on the job.
From today people can apply for the three-year programme where successful applicants will learn on the beat as well as studying at Staffordshire University for a degree in Professional Policing Practice.
In the following weeks information on the application process - the learning on offer, and just what it’s like to police the streets of Staffordshire - will be made available through two live online chats and a podcast. The recruitment window will close on Monday, April 19.
Rachel Jordan, Senior Cohort Leader with the force, said: “Through the PCDA programme student officers will gain practical learning experience of the different types of policing including neighbourhood and response. From day one they will wear the uniform and be a student police officer, immediately becoming part of our policing family.
“We are looking for people who want to commit to working towards a degree – while also working as a student police officer. This isn’t a career, it’s a vocation. This entry pathway to policing suits people from all different backgrounds, ages and walks of life. We have younger students, as well as those who have decided to retrain to pursue their lifelong dream of being a police officer. It’s a fantastic opportunity to gain a qualification while learning about the variety of the role.
“The cohort spend some time studying during the week with time also spent doing the job so they are able to put into practice the theory they have been taught in the classroom. Throughout the degree they will follow a national curriculum developed by the College of Policing and spend time in the different policing areas to help their education in understanding the role itself.”
Student officer PC Lucy Young, who is set to join Stoke-on-Trent North Neighbourhood Policing Team having previously been on response in the north of the county, is among the current officers on the PCDA pathway.
She said: “When I was a teenager I just didn’t feel going to university was financially viable. I became a Special Constable in Derbyshire while working as a control room operator at Staffordshire Police. When the recruitment process started for PCs I jumped at the chance.
“In this course I am enjoying having a broader understanding of policing including the history and social impact. For anyone considering applying I would say that it’s a real lifestyle change and a lifelong commitment. I would say embrace the challenge and you will find a family with the police.”
PC Young says she enjoys the variety of the job and the chance to exercise her problem-solving skills. She said: “Every day is a new puzzle. When you manage to improve someone’s quality of life, whether it be a domestic situation, mental health issue or a problem in the community - it feels great.”
Student officer PC Sandip Kaur joined the force in June 2020. PC Kaur, who is based in Codsall with the neighbourhood team, said: “I have always wanted to pursue a career in policing from a young age and to be able to make a positive difference within my community every day.
“I enjoy that every day single day is different and the satisfaction that is gained on completing an investigation."
Nick Howe, Director for Staffordshire University’s Institute of Policing (IoP), says student officers showcase a passion for supporting the communities they are serving. He said: “The IoP team is comprised of a blend of academic and policing expertise, so we understand the demands placed on new police recruits. Like many of my colleagues, my own former policing career is something I am incredibly proud of. Now it is our privilege to see our student officers embark upon their policing careers and develop an appreciation for the transferable skills they gain while completing their Staffordshire University qualification.
“A common theme I see with our student officers is their passion for wanting to support and protect the communities they serve. I wish every one of our student officers every success as they explore all of the possibilities that a future in policing holds and look forward to welcoming the next Staffordshire Police intake.”
Those interested in applying are encouraged to join the force’s online chat this Thursday (April 1) between 6 and 7pm. The chat is running on the Staffordshire Police Facebook page and will feature a panel of experts including serving officers, HR and a course leader from Staffordshire University who will be on hand to answer questions.
To apply visit the ‘current vacancies’ section at www.careers.staffordshire.police.uk before midday on Monday 19 April when applications close.