New Health Academy set to transform NHS workforce

14 March 2008 – for immediate release

The launch of a unique, new ‘Health Academy’ which aims to tap into the community’s rich pool of talent in search of the next generation of NHS workers, recently took place at Aston University.

The Midland’s Health Academy (MHA) was initially developed through a partnership between Aston University, Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust, Birmingham City University and Matthew Boulton College. It has since attracted interest from other employers and Midland universities (for example the Learning and Skills Council, Staffordshire University and Keele University), who have been keen to become involved.

The partnership between the institutions will provide thousands of local people with the best advice and guidance on employment within the NHS, potential employment within the NHS, and movement into and between each educational institution at the appropriate level.

The Academy will target local schools, colleges and universities to inspire young people to become part of the NHS workforce and will also encourage returners to work from this country and refugees who already have health care experience from their own countries and require additional training. Existing NHS workers will also benefit from the Academy by having the opportunity to advance their careers through additional training and guidance.

‘The Academy is a new way for academic institutions and the NHS to work together in partnership within the health and social care sector, to appropriately train people and fill new roles in the NHS. It is particularly important that we meet the changing staffing needs of health and social care and fulfill the needs of the communities that we serve,’ said Dr Julia Brown from Aston University.

The launch of the Academy took place at Lakeside Conference Centre and was attended by approximately 150 people from across the region.

One Midland’s Health Academy project has been funded by the Birmingham, Black Country and Solihull Life Long Learning Network (LLLN). This is an organisation aimed at encouraging collaborations with employers and educational institutions in order to meet an existing skills gap and provide training accordingly. The LLLN has funded a grant application for �85,000 to enable the four partners to produce a suite of videos that will show prospective students how to progress through the education partners into jobs and careers within the NHS.

The LLLN grant has also enabled the MHA to buy the Skills Escalator ‘webtool’ which will provide people with a visual source to consult regarding NHS jobs and careers. People will be able to plot the best routes and pathways via the education system to reach their dream job in the NHS.

The films will be accessible via the internet and set up as part of the skills escalator ‘web tool’- which is being piloted through the Academy. Set to go live in July 2008, the ‘web tool’ will provide people with an easy to follow guide that lists every job in the NHS from Surgeon to Hospital Porter, identifying what is the best route to take to get involved in the profession. The films will allow the institutions to visually showcase their facilities and provide people with an excellent insight into a variety of professions and the training requirements. They are to be used with Schools and Colleges and at careers events in the region.


For further press information please contact Hannah Brookes on 0121 204 4549