Health services in the UK will get a major boost through an annual allocation of £100m of additional funds to tackle skills gaps and shortages.
Skills for Health, the sector skills council for the public, private and voluntary healthcare sectors, has signed a joint investment framework, a rolling three-year agreement, with the strategic health authorities and the Learning and Skills Council.
Junior health minister Ann Keen said: “This agreement shows we value the health workforce and is evidence of our commitment to their training and development.
“For those working in the healthcare sector it will mean increased opportunities and better prospects; for employers, it will ensure a higher skilled, more flexible workforce; and for patients, it will result in improved levels of service and care,” Keen said.
John Rogers, chief executive of Skills for Health added: “Our vision is to improve healthcare services by ensuring that the sector has a skilled and flexible workforce. The Sector Skills Agreement for Health is our mechanism for achieving this.”
Mark Haysom, chief executive of the Learning and Skills Council said: “Improving skills and reducing skills gaps and shortages is vital if we are to build first-class public services in this country. That is why this agreement is so important. It represents a very significant move to ensure that the healthcare sector and its workforce are equipped with the best vocational skills that are available.”