Skills for Care is once again looking for innovative social care organisations to host ambitious new graduates on a one-year programme designed to develop future leaders in health and social care.
The independent body for workforce development said the programme, run in partnership with the NHS Leadership Academy, will offer employers access to a “talented pipeline of graduates” who will bring with them transferable skills and knowledge.
Since its launch in 2009, Skills for Care’s Graduate Management programme has seen 140 graduates join employers after completing a values-based selection process before being carefully matched with host organisations.
The programme also includes a secondment with NHS partners offering the graduates to gain invaluable experience working in both social care and health.
Melanie Weatherley, Chair of Lincolnshire Care Association (LinCA), and CEO of Walnut Care, recently hosted graduate Grace Neal.
Over her year with LinCA, Neal worked to improve the workforce of care staff in Lincolnshire by working closely with schools and colleges to develop a Care College in Lincoln.
She supported SME providers to access council levy funding, increasing the amount of apprenticeships in Lincolnshire.
“What has been fantastic to watch is the way that Grace has blossomed, and there isn’t any other way to describe it,” said Weatherley. “LinCA would be happy to host another graduate, and part of Grace’s contract involves her completing an application to host a future graduate.
“Taking part in the programme made us think about our key objectives as an organisation and clearly articulate how these could be achieved. We have also benefited from having a new perspective as part of our discussions.”
Skills for Care said 70% of recent graduates have committed to a health and social care career on completion of the programme with many already in senior leadership and management roles.
Andy Tilden, Skills for Care’s interim CEO, added: “Now going into our tenth cohort, we’ve seen many success stories over the years as the programme continues to develop influential and confident leaders of the future.
“It’s imperative that we continue to invest in new talent as the sector faces significant challenges. The programme offers graduates the chance to develop their careers, and their hosts have told us how graduates have created opportunities to do things differently in their service. I would urge any organisation thinking of offering a placement to apply before the deadline.”
Applications for organisations to host a graduate are open now until April 6, 2020. More information about the programme can be found at www.skillsforcare.org.uk/hostagraduate