12 January, 2021

Career Opportunities: Understanding the opportunity to develop the health and care workforce together

Health care leaders widely regard workforce as the biggest single challenge facing the health and care sector. As the largest local employer, NHS organisations and local authorities have shown that they can exercise significant influence on local skills, development and employment.

As they continue to cope with the impact of Covid-19 on their residents and local communities, housing associations need to recognise that local NHS and care organisations are among few local employees with vacancies at the moment.

The NHS is the largest employer in the UK. Prior to Covid-19, there were over 200,000 job vacancies in health and care organisations. Filling these vacancies, as well as those created as a result of the impact of Covid-19 on existing members of staff, is a huge challenge.

If the NHS is to play a full role in the economic and social recovery to improve population health and wealth post-Covid-19, it will need:

Housing associations play a crucial role as community anchors. From March- October 2020, they made over two million welfare calls, provided over half a million residents with advice and guidance, and over 350,000 food interventions. They have well established employment support services aimed at both unemployed as well as under- employed residents. They are also well connected within local communities.

As the NHS develops a more place-based approach, there is a growing awareness
that anchor institutions help local places meet their potential and reduce entrenched inequalities. As anchor institutions, housing associations are well placed to work with local health and care organisations to co- develop workforce strategies with the explicit intention of supporting local recruitment and developing the current and future health and social care workforce.

For housing associations, the workforce needs of the NHS represent an opportunity to provide routes out of unemployment or under-employment for their residents and local people. In realising this opportunity, they will need to engage with health and care organisations to understand their needs, so that their employment programmes can be co-designed and adapted accordingly.

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Career Opportunities: Understanding the opportunity to develop the health and care workforce together

PUBLISHED: January 2021

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