The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) will invite ‘key pharmacy organisations’ to discuss the pharmacist apprenticeship proposal, it announced last week (17 April).

Representatives from each organisation will meet ‘as soon as possible after Easter’, according to the PDA.

The representative body announced it has agreed to convene the meeting after being ‘approached’ by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IATE), who published the formal proposal to introduce a five-year pharmacy apprenticeship scheme.

PDA director Paul Day said: ‘IATE approached the PDA and we have agreed to convene a meeting of stakeholder pharmacy organisations to meet with IATE and determine what needs to be done.

He added: ‘We recognise the strength of feeling in the profession about this issue and will be doing all we can to resolve the concerns expressed and find a way forward that is right for the profession and patients.’

According to the PDA, more than 6,000 pharmacists responded to IATE’s ten-day consultation on the proposal after the union highlighted it on 12 April.

Last week, The Pharmacist learned that pharmacy schools have ‘concerns’ over the proposals, which have faced criticism from many in the sector.