Plans to overcome NHS skills shortages through the use of a skills escalator
were outlined at the AHHRM’s national conference.
Andrew Foster, the NHS’ director of HR, told delegates this meant giving
employees access to the necessary training so they can progress to the next
He said the skills escalator could be a powerful tool for the NHS and help
the long-term unemployed find health jobs.
Foster explained, "The skills escalator can help us fill skills
shortages and it also lets staff build a career path and increase their
"I think it is one of the most powerful tools available to us and it
has been used successfully in Denmark and London. It also gets people out of
long-term unemployment and that is part of our responsibility as a public
In his speech to the AHHRM conference, Foster said that HR was working to
alleviate the employee shortages in the NHS, but it would have to be
increasingly competitive to succeed.
"We want to expand recruitment aims but we are in a competitive market
where the police, education and others all have similar aims," he added.
He also promised a new study to highlight the value of HR and the effect it
has on improving the service.
"In clinical terms better working practices will make people work
better so hopefully we can provide some firm evidence," he said. Foster
also promised a new study to link HR to the effect it has on improving the