Apprenticeships: key to tackling the Health and Social Care skills gap?

The Health and Care sector in the UK is set to boom over the coming years, but will there be enough employees to meet the upcoming demand?

Lynsey Smith, Director of Learning & Skills for Health and Life Sciences at South Leicestershire College discusses this skills gap and how it can be tackled.

“A combination of factors, including an ageing workforce, means that the Human Health and Social Work sector will experience some of the biggest growth between now and 2022. According to the ‘Great Expectations’ report published by City & Guilds earlier on this year, a total of 23% of all new jobs created will be in the Health and Care sector.

“The problem we face is the mismatch between the number of jobs that will become available and the career aspirations of the next generation of employees. For example, the report that surveyed 14-19 year olds and their career expectations stated that almost 6% of respondents said that they wanted to be medical practitioners, yet the forecast for 2022 shows that only 0.798% of the UK population will be employed in this occupation. However ‘high availability’ roles such as home carers, nurses and care workers had ‘few or in some cases no respondents opting for them.’

“Here at the College, we believe the key way to tackle this skills gap is via Apprenticeships. This method of training allows Apprentices to gain a qualification whilst working as a paid employee. From an employer’s perspective this is the ideal way to attract fresh talent into their organisation allowing them to fill their skills gaps and mould employees into their way of working.

“Apprenticeships are also a cost-effective way to up-skill current staff members, ensuring their workforce is continually developing and keeping up to date with sector changes.”

“Here at South Leicestershire College, we have a number of training options available for employers within the Health & Care Sector, including Apprenticeships and bespoke programmes. Contact us today to find out more.”

Click here to find out more about employing an Apprentice, including the College’s free recruitment service, call 0116 264 3545 or email sales@slcollege.ac.uk