Minister announces £60m for learning accounts for NHS staff

NHS staff with no professional qualifications will be given access to learning accounts, under plans announced by health secretary Patricia Hewitt.

Announcing £60m funding to continue NHS learning accounts and NVQ training, Hewitt said that the NHS could offer more career opportunities for staff than any other employer.

“NHS learning accounts and the skills escalator allow the NHS to be at the forefront of life-long learning, encouraging people to perform to the top of their abilities, develop their skills and climb the NHS careers ladder,” she said.

“I believe it is important that those skills have the opportunity to develop, as without the input of the 223,000 healthcare assistants, the NHS simply wouldn’t function, which is why I will continue to invest and reform the training and development opportunities for all in the NHS.”

Unison head of health Karen Jennings said the individual learning accounts scheme is also very popular among healthcare assistants and is helping them to develop ‘within their roles and beyond’.

“We would like to see a widening of the secondment scheme to make it easier for healthcare assistants to access nurse training,” she said.

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