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More forces re-open IPLDP entry route to attract Uplift recruits

GMP and West Yorkshire have joined other forces in keeping the traditional police training route open.

Two forces have reacted to the drop in recruitment applications by re-opening their non-degree training programmes.

Greater Manchester revealed it will run an Initial Police Learning and Development Programme (IPLDP) alongside the apprenticeship programme and policing degree scheme.

And West Yorkshire is not only doing the same but has extended its deadline for applicants to the end of the month.

The forces join Thames Valley and Northamptonshire.

The changes come just days after MPs on the Public Accounts Committee warned that reaching the final year Uplift target will be “challenging”.

MPs said dropping non-degree entry needed a rethink.

“We are not yet convinced that the new training routes introduced by the College of Policing best meet the needs of police forces,” they said.

“Views among stakeholders differ about whether it is necessary or desirable for all police officers to hold or work towards qualification at, or equivalent to, a degree-level, and whether this requirement could exclude or deter some from joining the police, irrespective of the route taken to achieve that qualification,” the committee said.

Yesterday, Police and Crime Commissioners revealed they are lobbying the two Conservative leadership candidates over degree entry.

Among them are Marc Jones, Festus Akinbusoye and Angelique Foster.

Ms Foster, the PCC for Derbyshire, revealed at the start of the month, she had written to the Policing Minister in a show of support for the non-degree entrance system for new police officer recruits.

She argued forces should be able to recruit from the widest pool of talent to serve their communities. 

Ms Foster said: “The response to the recent recruitment round using this traditional entry route was very successful, with a high number of applicants. This illustrates that policing is a career of choice for non-degree holders, and importantly it enables the force to select candidates with a wider variety of experiences and skills.”

The Home Office has already announced it is closing the IPLDP route but Ms Foster said the decision should be reconsidered.

She said: “The Chief Constable and I strongly believe that this route serves to provide an entry-point for members of the public who may not hold or want to hold a degree but would nevertheless possess the right skills and aptitude to serve their communities.”

A review of the new training programme is currently under way.

The College of Policing is understood to be looking at Nottinghamshire’s pioneering scheme to count career experience of ex-military personnel to count towards a degree.

It could be adapted so older applicants have their previous career skills included in degree credits. But a decision is a long way off.

The Home Office said it will stand by its decision to close IPLDP.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We are pleased to see the Committee [PAC] recognising the success of the manifesto commitment to recruit 20,000 more police officers, with over 13,500 additional officers already recruited in forces across England and Wales. 

“We will now review the recommendations provided by the Committee and respond in due course.”

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