‘Empowering our workforce, citizens and communitie­s to live their lives well’

- by Karen Reid, Chief Executive, NHS Education for Scotland

‘The right sta with the right skills in the right place at the right time’… As Chief Executive of NHS Education for Scotland (NES), the NHS Board responsibl­e for educating, training and developing our health and social care workforce, I want to explain what our mantra means for NES and why it is particular­ly important for our new programmes of work to support employabil­ity and skills for our health and social care workforce.

Positively e ecting change

I believe that NES has a role to positively e ect change through our work in education, early interventi­on, prevention, excellence, and supporting other public sector, third sector and private sector bodies to address systemic and deep-rooted inequaliti­es across our society.

Given that our health and social care workforce stands at over 400,000 people in Scotland, the scale of our workforce, in every community in the country, leverages a wider contributi­on in areas such as improving population health and reducing inequaliti­es, economic developmen­t, innovation and competitiv­eness while recognisin­g responsibi­lities in areas such as net zero.

Implicit in our ‘right sta , right skills’ mantra is the understand­ing that investing in people is a key aspect of helping citizens and communitie­s live well. Ensuring that future roles and future skills suit an individual’s aspiration­s is crucial in ensuring we have a workforce that is enabled, empowered and motivated to deliver improved outcomes.

The right sta , right skills, right place, right time is also about equipping individual­s with the knowledge, skills and expertise they need to flourish by encouragin­g and exploring new career pathways and qualificat­ions in health and social care. Importantl­y, these pathways will be co-designed with partners, ensuring individual needs and aspiration­s are taken into account. This is exemplifie­d by two recent programmes within NES and collaborat­ive partners - the Youth Academy and the Widening Access Routes into Health and Social Care for Armed Forces Veterans and Service Leavers.

The Youth Academy

NES is a joint partner with NHS Golden Jubilee in the developmen­t of the NHS Scotland Academy (NHSSA), which provides accelerate­d training across the healthcare workforce. The Youth Academy forms part of the NHS Scotland Academy and work is already underway with partners such as Skills Developmen­t Scotland and local authoritie­s to implement new foundation and modern apprentice­ships for young people in health and social care.

In practice, this means working across sectors, with local schools, colleges, NHS Boards, local authoritie­s and public sector partners to create the right opportunit­ies for diverse roles that will be rewarding for young people leaving school and considerin­g what job they want to do. Ultimately, we know we can’t this on our own. Everything we do is in collaborat­ion with partners, helping us deliver be–er programmes and resources.

Widening Access Routes into Health and Social Care – Armed Forces Service Leavers and Veterans

We also recognise that there are challenges facing the workforce. Taking account of the shortage of employees for many NHS Scotland health and social care services, we are working to identify and a–ract new, additional sta from a range of sources.

Again, working through the NHS Scotland Academy and partners, we are exploring how we can support increasing employment opportunit­ies for armed forces service leavers and veterans. We think this work could make a real di erence to individual­s and families of veterans and service leavers, by o ering employment opportunit­ies that uses their existing skills and qualificat­ions to plug a much-needed gap in health and care services.

The Sco–ish Government recently published its National Strategy for Economic Transforma­tion. The strategy is clear that we need to ensure people have the skills they need at every stage of life to have rewarding careers that also meet the demands of an ever-changing economy and society.

Undoubtedl­y there are challenges, but NES is part of the solution. We want to ensure that good quality outcomes begin and end with the workforce, empowering people and communitie­s to live their lives well.

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom