In order to address the formidable challenges encountered within the health and social care sector, the College collaborates closely with partners to effectively tackle the industry’s substantial demands and constraints.
The Challenges Being Faced
There are over 71,000 employees working across all sectors of Devon’s health and care system. The multi- professional workforce includes staff that work for primary care (including GPs, dentists, community pharmacists and ophthalmic opticians), ambulance service, secondary care, community health services, adult and children’s social care, public health and the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) and independent sector.
Health and care systems nationally are facing extreme challenges, including continued operational demands on services, financial constraints, poor performance in key service areas leading to increased poor outcomes for the population. The impact of this on employees across health and care is exceptionally challenging which is leading to poorer health and wellbeing and increased workforce vacancies as many staff choose to leave the health and care profession.
Demand for health and care services will continue to grow with an expected annual increase of 2.9% growth per annum for the next decade.
Combatting the Issues
To combat these challenges, the College will work with health and care partners on a specific plan to:
- encourage more 16+ year olds to consider a role in health or social care through promotion of health and care as a career of choice
- be part of a vibrant programme of work placements and recruitment initiatives to support people currently not in work and providing essential skills
- deliver and develop Apprenticeships across the system for both undergraduate and postgraduate, optimising career development opportunities
- provide skills for partners to optimise the retention of their existing workforce to retain expertise, knowledge and skills in Devon and reduce cost associated with attrition
- include digital skills to enable technology across the sector.
Supporting the Industry
Our strategic action aligns to the aspirations of the One Devon Health & Social Care System Skills Strategy 2035 with the intent of providing skills to new entrants and adding skills to existing health and care staff.
As a key partner in the health arena, the College will be a conduit for new entrants into the sector through the raising of the profile alongside our stakeholders, as well as providing a potential pipeline of new employees. Furthermore, our skills will keep abreast of developments within the sector and embrace digital technologies and encourage innovative working practices.
Our skills provision will span full-time studies, adult education, degree and Apprenticeships; these qualification routes will allow for skills development across the sector providing opportunities for all learners/employees. With collaboration being at the heart of this sector, the College will act as a conduit where innovative approaches to education will be activated for the benefit of the community’s health and wellbeing.