Skills for Health – the sector skills council for the public, private and voluntary healthcare sectors – has signed a new multi-million pound Joint Investment Framework involving Strategic Health Authorities and the Learning and Skills Council.
Over time, the deal will see up to £100m of additional funds being delivered annually into the health service in England to tackle skills gaps and shortages. By developing the potential of healthcare staff the aim is to ensure that patients receive the best possible care and the highest levels of service.
The Joint Investment Framework is a rolling three-year agreement between the Strategic Health Authorities, the Learning and Skills Council, and Skills for Health. Funding will focus on healthcare staff working in Bands 1 to 4; funding Apprenticeships, Skills for Life, and other skills development and qualifications at Levels 2, 3 and 4.
Part of the Sector Skills Agreement for Health, the Framework represents a major step towards achieving the demand-led skills system recommended in the December 2006 Leitch review of skills.
Commenting on the agreement, Ann Keen, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health said: "This agreement shows we value the health workforce and is evidence of our commitment to their training and development. For those working in the healthcare sector it will mean increased opportunities and better prospects; for employers, it will ensure a higher skilled, more flexible workforce; and for patients, it will result in improved levels of service and care."
David Amos, Director of Workforce, University College London Hospitals added: "As an employer of over 6,000 staff - around 20 per cent of whom are in bands 1 to 4 - I welcome this additional investment. It is a tangible benefit of the commitment to working in partnership through the Sector Skills Agreement and will help us provide high quality patient services."