Fast-track scheme to push talented doctors to top
Young doctors could be consultant surgeons by the time they are 31 under new fast-track training programmes to be introduced next year. Instead of the current 'time-based' system of training, the new curriculum will be based on the acquisition of agreed competencies. Hugh Phillips, new president of the Royal College of Surgeons, said: "The aim of training is, and will continue to be, to produce individuals with knowledge and skills to allow them to practice within a defined clinical framework, working as a member of a consultant team. There are too many talented surgeons-in-training stuck at the senior house officer grade. Not only is this wasteful of human resources, but it makes for an insecure and difficult time at a crucial stage in the surgeon's career. The new scheme will recognise excellence rather than reward time-serving."
Standard for management and leadership launched
The Management Standards Centre (MSC), part of the Chartered Management Institute, has launched new national occupational standard for management and leadership in response to Government-backed studies showing that poor management is holding back the UK economy. The standards, launched following a two-year review, have been developed to provide a set of best-practice guidelines for management and leadership development across all industry sectors. Subjects include change management, customer service, delivering equality of opportunity and team leadership. Ivan Lewis, minister for skills and vocational education, said: "These new standards will help employers recruit and train the two million new managers they need by 2012." www.management-standards.org
IT expansion exposes skills gaps in UK workforce
Employers are experiencing the first signs of a new IT skills shortage as businesses begin stepping up investment in IT systems after four years of belt tightening. An estimated 15,000 businesses in the UK face difficulty filling their IT vacancies, according to an analysis of supply and demand published last week by sector skills council E-Skills UK and analyst firm Gartner. The problem will get worse unless there is a concerted effort by the Government, employers and universities to transform the way IT professionals are trained and supplied, the research said. The survey, of 3,200 businesses, found th