From education to employment

New Blackpool and Fylde Coast Health and Social Care Career Academy launched

Education and health and social care industry partners have come together to launch a ground-breaking new career academy, to mark this year’s World Health Day.

The strategic partnership brings together extensive industry expertise, led by NHS Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust, Blackpool Council and Blackpool and The Fylde College (B&FC).

Programmes have been co-created by health and social care providers and educationalists to deliver the exact skills needed for new professionals or current staff wishing to advance their career.

The academy offers learning opportunities from short professional development courses and career taster sessions through to degrees and Master’s degrees. Apprenticeship opportunities are also available with employers.

As an employer-led academy, programmes will also provide students with unparalleled work placements as part of their education.


Karen Smith, Chair of the Blackpool and Fylde Coast Health and Social Care Career Academy steering group and Director of Adult Social Services for Blackpool Council, said: “I am delighted to announce this ground-breaking strategic partnership which will see education professionals and the health and social care industry work together to provide bespoke and relevant training for the sector.

“Health and social care is a priority area across Lancashire, with forecasts suggesting employment in the county’s health and social care sector is set to grow substantially in the period to 2024, with some issues already identified surrounding skills gaps, an ageing workforce and recruitment and retention concerns.[1]

“The new Health and Social Care Career Academy recognises the enormous potential to facilitate transformation, to develop a skills pipeline which meets identified gaps and to raise the profile of careers in this growing industry.

“Through the direction of its employer-led steering group, the academy will facilitate the education, training and development needs of Fylde Coast health and care providers using a tailored, ‘home grown’ strategy which meets the key needs of the local population and the economy.”

Eleanor McManus, Career Transformation, Engagement and Development Manager at NHS Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust, added: “Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are proud to be part of the Health and Social Care Careers Academy.

“Supporting the development of knowledge and skills for the health and social care sector across the Fylde Coast is vital to ensuring good quality care for our local population, wherever they are cared for.

“We are committed to developing and expanding the knowledge and skills of our staff and local community as part of the academy.”

Cllr Amy Cross, Cabinet Member for Adult Services and Health at Blackpool Council, said: “This is an exciting initiative that will see experts work together to help close the skills gap in the health and social care sector.

“We are delighted that Blackpool will be a hub for developing highly trained professionals who can use their acquired knowledge to strengthen the delivery of quality services across the Fylde Coast.

“The launch of the academy is testimony to the strong desire and commitment by all of the partners throughout the area to help improve the health and wellbeing of our local residents.”

Bev Robinson OBE, Principal and Chief Executive of B&FC, added: “At B&FC, we have a long history of working with a wide range of industries to ensure we co-create the skills our employer partners need to drive their business forward.

“The Health and Social Care Career Academy is an exemplar of that level of partnership working with members from the public, private and third sector coming together to ensure we have the highest quality skills delivery for those wishing to begin or advance their careers in the sector.”

The career academy steering group is also seeking input from current and former employees to provide their experiences of working in a health or care setting. Respondents are encouraged to fill out a survey at – – so their input is taken on board as the academy’s curriculum develops.

Industry partners involved in the academy currently include: Blackpool Carers Centre, Chaseley Care Home, Cherish UK, Creative Support, FCMS, Homecare For You, Lancaster University, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, Napier Home Care, Ormerod Group, Safehands, Spiral Health, Skills for Care, Trinity Hospice, Trades Union Congress (TUC) and Ubu.

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