Health sector employers pledge to improve skills

Thousands of patients across the East Midlands are to benefit from improved health services – thanks to a new pledge to improve skills across the healthcare sector.
NHS East Midlands has pledged to improve healthcare by making a commitment to support and encourage healthcare staff to gain skills and qualifications to help their career development, boost their confidence and, subsequently, improve patient care.

By signing up to the Skills Pledge at the Skills for Health East Midlands Sector Skills Agreement consultation event on 3rd April, NHS East Midlands has promised to up-skill and support its own employees to work towards relevant qualifications.

Four other NHS organisations also signed the Skills Pledge on April 3rd and the SHA will encourage all the NHS employers in the East Midlands to do likewise. 

NHS East Midlands currently has around 90,500 staff employed through NHS organisations across the East Midlands so signing of the Skills Pledge will benefit significant numbers of patients.

Janet Monkman, director of workforce, NHS East Midlands, said:

“We are delighted to be a partner in the Joint Investment Framework.  In the NHS, the people that patients come into contact with the most often are staff working in support roles such as receptionists, care workers, porters or cleaners.  Therefore, the development of this part of our workforce is an essential part of providing excellent care.  The new Joint Investment Framework will have a direct and tangible impact on improving the knowledge and skills of these staff and the care they offer to patients.”

The signing of the Skills Pledge, part of a plan to equip Britain’s workforce for the future and develop world-class skills by 2020, has been driven by a Joint Investment Framework (JIF) between the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), Skills for Health, and the East Midlands SHA. The partnership is focused on developing skills, learning and qualifications among NHS employees. 

A JIF partnership manager will now work with NHS employers and employees to ensure access to the right type of training for each individual to ensure they achieve and progress. 

The training offered includes literacy, numeracy and first full Level 2 qualification courses (equivalent to five good GCSE passes) as well as a range of partially subsidised higher level courses.

Karen Woodward, LSC director of skills, said: “The JIF is groundbreaking in making the significant step forward to the public sector actively engaging in the training and development of their entire workforce using public funding for entitlement to qualifications.”

Pippa Hodgson, regional director, East Midlands, for Skills for Health added: “It is encouraging to see healthcare employers in the region supporting the Skills Pledge and showing enthusiasm about the opportunities the Joint Investment Framework offers.  This provides a very sound basis from which to take forward the actions that will emerge from the Sector Skills Agreement Consultation process in the East Midlands”.

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