As the Sector Skills Council for Health, @SkillsforHealth have long been advocates for the entire health and care workforce, appreciating that ‘our people’ are our health system’s greatest asset. Without the hundreds of broad ranging roles across our health and social care sector workforces, from doctors and nurses, to care workers, porters, clerks and so many more, there would be no health services. Yet, until Covid-19, it could be said that this belief was not universally acknowledged across society as a whole.
For a long time, the health sector has suffered staff shortages which have threatened the delivery and quality of care. And, whilst the pandemic has devastatingly highlighted the scale of these workforce challenges, it has at last seen our dedicated people receive the recognition they deserve for the essential contribution they make to the health and well-being of our communities.
With almost all of us having been touched, in one way or another, by the outstanding efforts of our hard working front-lines over the last few months, there can be few who do not now hold a greater understanding and appreciation of the skill, value and flexibility of the people and workforces who have supported our loved ones at their time of need. Now is the time we must ensure this awareness is harnessed into a valuable recruitment drive, which will go some way in accelerating and delivering the change required to build a sustainable workforce for the future.
This week Skills for Health's partner organisation, SFJ Awards, launch their expanded suite of qualifications across a broad range of Health and Social Care practices and settings, in line with government policy and national requirements in supporting the development of our skilled workforce. This portfolio of qualifications endorses learners already working in, or who wish to pursue a career in the Health and Social Care sectors across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and furthers the improvement of patient outcomes.
Candace Miller, Managing Director, SFJ Awards says:
“Having been an advocate for improved investment in the development of the healthcare sector workforce for over 15 years, I am well aware of the value that individuals and employers place on gaining qualifications that recognise them formally for the skills, knowledge and expertise they hold. Therefore, I am delighted to be launching this expanded suite of relevant and proven qualifications that acknowledge the integrated nature of health and care and will help encourage new entrants and existing staff settings to develop in their chosen careers.”
Designed by sector experts, these fit-for-purpose Health and Social Care qualifications have been developed to not only meet the needs of the sector but offer centres more flexibility in the provision they deliver. They allow centres to develop programmes of learning which are relevant to individual learner’s requirements, providing them with the knowledge and skills they need, whether seeking employment in our NHS, private, or voluntary health and social care organisations.
The comprehensive suite covers environments ranging from hospitals to care homes, hospices and general practices and crucial roles spanning from call handling to working with children, people with dementia, learning disabilities or mental health, and the provision of end of life care.
There has never been a more vital time to support the growth of our future health and social care workforces and Skills for Health are confident that SFJ Awards’ suite of Integrated Health and Social Care qualifications will play some part in bringing together centres, learners and employers, to empower people with opportunities for the future.