New Facility Aims to Tackle Healthcare Skills Shortages

Tuesday 2 August 2016

A Teesside college has launched a new facility in a bid to bridge the healthcare industry skills gap.

Dozens of students have found work in the sector after being trained in Redcar & Cleveland College’s healthcare unit, which is kitted out with a fully-equipped ambulance, life-saving equipment, talking dummies and a mock A&E department to create an authentic workplace environment.

Now the college has gone a step further by opening up the facility to healthcare firms who want to upskill their current workforce or train new recruits.

The move comes as the healthcare industry battles to tackle a potentially crippling skills shortage. According to research by the Centre for Workforce Intelligence (CfWI), demand for healthcare workers could grow at more than twice the rate of population growth in the UK (1.3% compared to 0.6%) by 2035. The report predicts that the number of staff hours needed to satisfy rising demand will rocket by 36% by 2035, from nine billion to 12.2 billion.

Mandy Morris at Redcar & Cleveland College said: “The North East is home to a strong medical and healthcare sector but its future growth could be stunted by the dearth of skilled workers. The problem is only going to get worse as demand for healthcare services rises – which it will, as people live longer and we see further advancements in medical technology.

“In light of this increased demand, we’re opening up our healthcare facilities to local firms so that their staff can gain additional skills. This will help the sector to become more competitive and that will have spin-off benefits for the regional economy.”

Redcar & Cleveland College’s health and social care courses range from entry level training that provides a route into the industry, to a Level 3 Extended Diploma which equips learners with advanced skills in areas such as infection control, safeguarding, complimentary therapies and dementia awareness.

The training provision can help health and social care workers progress in a variety of rewarding professions including nursing, radiography, social work and occupational and nutritional therapy.

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