Future Careers within the NHS: How Access to Higher Education needs to adapt

8th June 2018 Date of publication

The NHS celebrates its 70th birthday this year, and as this article in the Guardian highlights, as the biggest employer in the UK and fifth largest workforce in the world, it needs to be fit for the future.

As roles within the NHS change in line with medical advancements, new technologies, and the future needs of the population, it’s important that we are educating students on the wide variety of career choices available in health and social care beyond the traditional roles they will be familiar with. The recent rise in Healthcare Assistants has been put down to the development of a clear career pathway and the same needs to be the case for other areas of practice, including the increasing number of roles in the community.

The decision students face when choosing a subject to study at a higher level can be difficult, but when the aim is to work in a sector such as healthcare where new innovations and roles are emerging every day, the decision can be even harder.

Improving healthcare careers advice in schools

The newly enforced ‘Baker Clause’ is a fantastic opportunity for FE providers to educate school pupils about careers and the various pathways students could take to both achieve their dream job and fill vital skills shortages. With many schools struggling to implement the new regulation, there remains ambiguity for students about not only career options available, but also the skills and qualifications required for newer or more obscure roles.

Learning about new and emerging roles in public and private sectors stands careers advisers in good stead to pass information onto and inspire students who will be the healthcare workforce of the future. Knowing that being an NHS worker doesn’t pigeonhole you as either a hospital-based Doctor or Nurse isn’t information students should just be expected to know, and as providers and stakeholders we should be encouraging students to research further into their areas of interest to discover careers suited to the subjects that excite them. We should also be shouting about the transferable skills from niche areas of healthcare into wider job roles and the fact that healthcare workers now need to be more versatile than ever, with roles being more broad and agile than they may have been in the past.

How can we provide better access to healthcare via HE?

At our Access to HE Forum on 15th June, Scott Godfrey Principal Lecturer at the School of Health & Social Care, Teesside University, will be hosting a workshop on Exploring Health and Social Courses within Higher Education. During the session, Scott will be discussing various roles within the NHS, including popular choices and the less prevalent careers which students may not be aware of. He’ll also be covering some of the current interview techniques for such courses, giving attendees crucial tips that can be passed on to students to help them succeed.

Find out more about the event and book your place here -

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