A partnership of education and training organisations has revealed more details about its ambitious plans to boost skills across the health and social care sector.
The Marches Education Partnership has been formed to deliver a Government-backed £2.4 million project, funded by Strategic Development Fund cash.
The joint bid was led by Telford College, and also includes Shrewsbury Colleges Group, Herefordshire, Ludlow and North Shropshire College, and SBC Training.
The aim is to ease pressure on the NHS with a series of initiatives over the next 18 months which are designed to help recruit and retain staff.
These will include the launch of a mobile training unit which will tour the Marches area delivering technology-led and practical training.
It will be equipped with virtual reality headsets, simulated at-work training facilities, an immersive cave, and other training software which is being developed specifically for the partnership.
The curriculum will include courses in occupational English and maths to upskill staff, a pre-employment health and social care programme, plus bespoke packages to boost IT and digital competence.
There will also be a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course, divided into nine different modules, to improve the knowledge of staff already working in the adult care sector who may be looking to specialise, or progress their careers.
The first courses are due to begin rolling out next month. Anyone interested in finding out more about the partnership, or registering for one of the courses, can visit www.marches-education.co.uk, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The partnership team says: “Everyone knows that the NHS and adult social care is under significant pressure right now – we believe this partnership project could make a real difference when it is most needed.
“We want to be ambitious and use this pilot to test out the new ways of working and take the opportunity to invest in enhanced training which is designed to support NHS teams who are under considerable strain.
“We want to take advantage of technology-led learning, including virtual and augmented reality to fast-track more staff into the sector, and upskill others.”