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More NHS care workers essential for a brighter future 

Advances in healthcare and higher living standards means the UK’s over-65 population is set to increase by almost half by the mid-2030s and the number of people living with complex care needs continues to grow. New roles and skills are needed therefore to meet this increase in complex care with an extra focus on person centred care. This will have a direct effect on the number of NHS Health and Social Care workers needed on a scale never seen before and this cannot be ignored.

In England there are more than 80,000 vacancies in Health and Social Care at any one time. The industry is already at tipping point but with the increased number of people needing complex care and a significant lack of highly-skilled carers, action must be taken now to attract and retain more talent. 

The issues with recruitment are only made more prevalent by low retention rates and considerable upheaval within the sector. The Health Foundation found in a report in 2017 that 900 social care workers were estimated to leave the sector every day. It also found that 27 per cent of workers left the industry citing better pay and less pressures in industries such as hospitality. Incentives like training, which offers opportunities for progression, a clear career path and the skills to deliver outstanding care, can be part of the solution to retain care workers. 

BB Training is an award-winning education provider in the care sector, and part of the Busy Bees Group. Gary Pluck, BB Training Director of Communications and Business Development, said: “The state of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce in England report, published by Skills for Care last year, revealed around 390,000 people have left the sector over the last 12 months. Upskilling an existing workforce is as important as hiring new recruits as it has been proven to improve productivity and increase staff retention. Apprenticeships are integral to the future of the sector providing a continuous pipeline of qualified-talent. We facilitate an ongoing personal development programme that extends beyond the completion of an apprenticeship through short courses, additional qualifications and higher-level apprenticeships to ensure an upskilled, happy and motivated workforce.”

BB Training currently works with NHS Trusts and Health and Social Care Services to provide qualifications that enable the Male resident having a cup of tea with NHS workersservices to entice new staff and upskill current staff, keeping them within the Care Sector. Bolstering retention and creating new opportunities within the sector.   

Gary Pluck continued: “Apprenticeships are appealing to people as they represent an opportunity to ‘earn while you learn’, gaining recognised industry qualifications as well as the skills and knowledge employers require. Utilising the popularity of the apprenticeship model and providing an entry point and clear progression pathways in the Care Sector will help facilitate long term growth within the sector and secure a brighter future for the NHS.”

By promoting both Clinical Care and Health and Social Care apprenticeships to school leavers and providing them with the best training and qualifications available, BB Training is securing raw talent for the Care Sector; moulding apprentices into the next generation of committed specialist staff. Each individual is assigned a dedicated assessor, who has industry recognised experience and qualifications.  Monthly assessment visits take place at the learner’s workplace with bespoke action plans set each month, this includes individualised support for learning styles and the leaner's individual needs. Every learner has access to a bank of resources to support their learning and development; plus the opportunity to take part in online delivery sessions.

BB Training offers a variety of Care Sector Apprenticeships from Levels 2 to 5, covering areas such as Clinical Care and Adult Social Care. The courses support a number of roles within the Care Sector and have been designed by sector specialists to be innovative and flexible, preparing learners for their role and for future career progression.  

Entry requirements do apply to apprenticeships for the Care Sector due to the nature of the work undertaken. However, for those that have a mathematics and English qualification within them, BB Training has dedicated, trained and experienced staff to support individuals to achieve functional skills qualifications. These qualifications will, in turn, support Continuing Professional Development and progression within the sector. All elements of the programme require current employment within the Care Sector, mainly working with adults.