Friday, 29 May 2015

Preventative Skills Planning in Health & Social Care

It's on employment and skills in Health and Social Care which may not be the most alluring of sectors (at least as far as search engine optimisation is concerned) but is certainly one of, if not the most important sector for the UK economy.  It will also of course be of core concern to many of this blog's readers.

The post is based upon the UKCES' latest Sector Labour Market Intelligence report focusing on health and social care.  I write about the sector's challenges in recruitment, development and retention as well as some necessary structural change.

But actually there are a whole range of other challenges I could have written about - workforce planning for example.  This is also going to be more critical, but also more challenging.  Structural changes are one cause of complexity.  For example, there needs to be an increased focus on preventative health and enablement - helping people to manage their own care to a greater degree, supported by electronic health records.  This could lead to other occupations such as life and fitness coaches becoming increasingly important to the sector.  I would also suggest that support roles such as workforce planning managers will also be key to the sector’s future!

However another factor is the nature of the supply of workers, with 80% of employees in the sector being women, many working part-time, and often having a range of options open to them over their training, careers and retirement decisions.  Potential changes to national policies and regulations relating to wages and training structures adds further complexity to these forecasts.  The report also suggests that employers find it difficult to provide time for training and this requirement should be factored into workforce planning too.

Whatever happens, developing skills for the future will not be easy but the UKCES’ report should help move the sector not just to a more preventative approach to health and social care, but also to a less reactive and more preventative style of employment and skills planning too.

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