Three hundred new police officers, who are being recruited by West Yorkshire Police, will study for a degree as part of their training, which aims to equip student officers with the skills needed to tackle increasingly sophisticated crime.

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 in Wakefield and by academics at Leeds Trinity University. The student officers, who will complete a three-year Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship, will be paid police officers from day one, with all university fees being met by the force.

Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams (pictured left) said: “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.”

Williams, who has been a police officer in West Yorkshire for 28 years, says she has 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.”

The three-year apprenticeship allows 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 local neighbourhood teams.

The first trainee officers will be appointed to the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship programme in April 2020. 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