Health sector welcomes skills status

The
health sector looks set to receive Sector Skills Council (SSC) status after
being awarded a development contract.

Skills
for Health (SFH) has been given a six-month development contract by the Sector
Skills Development Agency.

By
September the body will produce business plans in a bid to gain a full SSC
five-year contract. It aims to reduce skills shortages, improve skills and
increase training in the sector that employs 2 million people.

It
aims to introduce competency frameworks for all healthcare staff.

The
18-strong board includes the NHS Confederation and two HR directors at NHS
trusts; Mervyn Barklay, HR director at Belfast City Hospital and Anne Coutts,
HR director at United Bristol Healthcare NHS Trust. 

David
Highton, chairman of Skills for Health said: “The challenge of meeting the
Government’s aim of modernising the NHS is enormous and will depend on
recruiting, retaining and improving the skills of healthcare professionals and
all those who support them.  The
independent health sector is developing rapidly alongside and increasingly, in
partnership with the NHS.

“A
new Sector Skills Council for Health will play a key role in ensuring there are
life-long learning and development opportunities for all healthcare staff.

"It
is an exciting time for all of us involved in healthcare and we are committed
to helping the sector create a skilled, flexible workforce for the 21st
century.”

SSCs
are employer-led training bodies that replaced National Training Organisations
last March.

By Paul Nelson

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