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You asked and we answered! A-Level and GCSE results day FAQs

Date: 15 August 2023

As both A-Level and GCSE results day are coming up for students across the country, we asked for your questions over on our Instagram so we could help answer your questions about working for the ambulance service.

We’ve collated all the questions and answers into this article to hopefully give some advice and guidance if you have received your results and you’re not sure what to do next.

Why not start your #CareerForLife with us today? Whether you want to work on the frontline looking after patients or make a difference in one of our support service roles, there’s something for everyone. 

See all our current vacancies.


Can you work for the ambulance service with only an automatic license?

Not all of our vehicles are automatic, so you would need to be able to drive manual vehicles too.


What roles can I go into straight from year 11?

The majority of our roles begin aged from the age of 18. However, CallEEAST have some options, where you can support commercial services in managing calls.


When are you recruiting for more apprenticeships?

We recently advertised for our remaining spaces in Suffolk and North Essex, and Mid and South Essex as we had some remaining spaces in these two areas for external applicants. These vacancies closed this week, so depending on whether all the positions are filled, these may be re-advertised. If they are filled from the applications we have received, there isn't any further plans just yet to go back out for Apprentice EMTs.


Do you accept FREC qualifications for positions?

Yes, we do. If, for instance, if you hold FREC 3 and FREC 4, you can consider our qualified emergency care assistant positions. If you hold a FREC 5, you can consider our qualified emergency medical technician positions. You will also need to have a full C1 driver's licence for these roles.


What are the different pathways to become a paramedic?

There are two main ways you can do this with EEAST. You can study Paramedic Science as a degree, and then start your career as a newly qualified paramedic. Alternatively, you can start as an emergency care assistant or apprentice emergency medical technician with the Trust and work your way up from these roles to become a paramedic via an apprenticeship.


What qualifications do you need to become a call handler?

You will need to have four GCSEs (grade 4 or above) including Maths and English, or significant call centre experience. If you have an equivalent qualification to GCSE such as Functional Skills Level 2 in maths and English, these would also count.


What’s a good starting job within EEAST?

There are some really great choices to begin your career journey. If you are interested in working your way up, make ready operative, ambulance care assistant or emergency care assistant are great roles that will give you experience of working alongside or within frontline ambulances. If you'd prefer to be a little more behind the scenes, working as an emergency call handler is a great role full of interesting challenges, with scope to progress within the control room setting.


Is it very competitive to get a place as a newly qualified paramedic with EEAST?

We are very accommodating! We do just need to check that your preferred area within the Trust has enough space for new NQPs to join, so on some occasions we can't offer everyone their first choice of area to work from. But we always try to ensure we are able to find you a place that works for you!


How does the Trust’s apprenticeship programme work?

For the apprentice emergency technician role, there are two pathways presently. There is a 12-week training course via a provider called Medipro. However, there is now also a 6-week course designed to 'upskill' existing emergency care assistants working for EEAST. It takes approximately 18 months to complete an apprenticeship and become a fully-fledged emergency medical technician. After your weeks of initial training, there is a mentoring phase where you are supported by existing qualified staff.


Do you have work experience opportunities in communications?

Work experience opportunities aren't currently offered in communications unfortunately. We may see changes to work experience options in the future.


After becoming a qualified ECA, what are the steps to becoming a paramedic and how long does it take?

A great next step would be becoming an apprentice emergency medical technician. This takes approximately 18 months to complete. When you're confident in your role as an emergency medical technician you can then look to apply for a role as an apprentice paramedic. This takes approximately two years to complete.


How many spaces are available on the EMT apprenticeships?

Each year there is a planned number to recruit to, with each area receiving a share. What that number is will depend on a number of factors, so it won't be the same each year.


What if I don't get the qualifications I need to join EEAST?

You can look into obtaining Maths and English Functional Skills Level 2 through the Department for Work and Pensions (you can speak to your local job centre about this, and let them know which of our roles you are working towards applying for).


What support do you offer current paramedics to develop further?

From a paramedic you can work up to an advanced practitioner role with the Trust, or there are options to develop in other areas such as management or with HART.


What work experience opportunities do you have in the Trust?

As many of our roles start from the age of 18, we are limited in work experience opportunities. We would recommend contacting St Johns Ambulance or your local hospital for work experience. 


Please contact our recruitment team if you have any other questions:

  • Summary:

    With both A-Level and GCSE results day coming up for students across the country, we've been answering your questions on our Instagram channel.