Health Education England – Talent for Care and Widening Participation


Talent for Care (TfC) is the first national strategic framework seeking to improve opportunities for education, training and development among those in support roles in the NHS – particularly those from disadvantaged communities. These developments will facilitate career progression for talented healthcare workers while also helping to resolve some of the workforce shortage issues and reducing dependency on temporary staff.

TfC comprises three primary themes:

  • Get In – opportunities for people to start their career in a support role.
  • Get On – supporting people to be the best they can be in the job they do.
  • Go Further – providing opportunities for career progression, including into registered professions.

Get In brings new and talented people into the NHS, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. In 2014/15, a national contract with the Prince’s Trust saw 606 young people participate in a pre-employment programme, with 62% of these going on to further education or employment upon completion.

There is a focus on apprenticeships – both for new starters as a route into the NHS, and as an effective way for existing staff to learn and gain a qualification while working. We achieved 14,660 starts in 2014/15. We are also creating new healthcare apprenticeship standards under the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) Trailblazer process. Getting health care assistants into registered nursing study programmes is another key priority.

Widening Participation (WP) seeks to create a diverse workforce where progression and opportunity are based on merit, not social background, and where the workforce is representative of the communities it serves.

It focuses on five primary areas:

  • improving monitoring and reporting of WP activities;
  • enhancing health careers information, advice and guidance;
  • increasing the understanding and evidence of what does and does not work in relation to WP developments;
  • increasing collaborative approaches, including outreach activity; and,
  • expanding work or work-related experience opportunities.

These two strategic frameworks make a positive impact on the shape of the NHS workforce. They use their national focus to identify areas of best practice to ensure a more consistent strategic approach to workforce planning, development and opportunities for career progression.

About the author

NHS Professionals administrator

NHS Professionals manages the temporary staffing needs of around 66 NHS Trusts across England. An integral part of the NHS, it aims to reduce Trusts’ spending on flexible workers without compromising quality, by providing greater transparency of demand and supplying bank staff at the best possible rate. Its bank of more than 40,000 flexible workers comprises general and specialist nurses, doctors, midwives, admin/clerical , allied health professionals, healthcare scientists, support services among other healthcare professionals.

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