The revised Apprenticeship Framework for Clinical Healthcare Support staff has recently been approved by Welsh Government for use in the health sector in Wales.
As the Sector Skills Council for health in Wales, with extensive experience of developing Welsh apprenticeships for the health sector, we are proud to have project managed this framework development in partnership with Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) and NHS health boards. Its introduction is well-timed as health boards and health employers recruit additional support staff to meet the increasing demands placed on our NHS by Covid-19.
Developed in consultation with independent and third sector employers, along with other stakeholders, including professional, regulatory and awarding bodies and training providers, this new revised apprenticeship framework not only meets the specific needs of the Clinical Healthcare Support staffing group in Wales but supports the broad vision of the sector to develop an increasingly skilled, flexible, and effective workforce, whilst maintaining high quality and safe, patient-centred care.
Liz Hargest, Education Development Manager, HEIW said: “This is an exciting development demonstrating true partnership working between NHS Wales, Welsh Government and Skills for Health. This Framework will be part of a suite of resources available to managers to support them in the development of their staff. This Framework will facilitate the careers of Healthcare Support Workers and build on the high-quality services already delivered to individuals by this workforce, with learners achieving accredited, transferable knowledge and skills.”
Healthcare Support Workers form approximately 41% of the workforce in Wales. Their role is pivotal across our NHS, independent and third sectors, helping healthcare professionals that diagnose, treat and care for individuals. This newly revised apprenticeship framework provides training routes for staff, including those working in both secondary care settings, such as hospital departments or wards, community clinics or health centres, and care homes, plus introduces a pathway for staff working in GP practices and primary care. Furthermore, it provides the opportunity for long-term training of these staff.
Dawn Probert, Skills for Health said: “Skills for Health were very pleased to be involved in the development of this revised apprenticeship framework, and work in partnership with the healthcare support sector who can utilise this route to both attract, retain and develop staff in this valuable and essential area of work.”
The framework has been published on the Apprenticeship Certification Wales website.