Information, advice and guidance on careers in health is being made easier to explore by a new advice line that is also acessible on the internet, explains Helen Fields
With more than two million people in the UK working in health across hundreds of occupational groups, the capability to offer information, advice and guidance is no simple undertaking.
Skills for Health, NHS Careers and learndirect have launched a new service called the Health Learning and Skills advice line.
It is staffed by advisers hosted within learndirect, who offer careers advice to health workers and those considering a career in the sector. The service covers England, although callers will be referred on to their national learndirect service when appropriate.
Users can also access the new service online via the Skills for Health and NHS Careers websites. Launched on 4 June, the service is already showing popularity. As many advice services are already available, Skills for Health aimed at enhancing existing provision. The partnership approach was seen as a vital new element to strengthen the range of services without duplication.
One major difference is that the new service covers the entire health sector, so callers can access information about health careers in independent and voluntary organisations as well as the NHS.
The advice line is designed to be user friendly and to reflect the move towards closer collaboration between NHS, independent and voluntary healthcare organisations.
Skills for Health and its partners are also working to make health labour market intelligence more accessible to careers services like nextstep, Connexions and other advice providers, while maintaining high-quality information. It is also piloting training sessions with partners to keep advisers up to date.
Skills for Health is also working with employer representatives and strategic partners to develop a web resource for people who provide health careers advice.
Helen Fields is associate director policy at Skills for Health.To find out more about the Health Learning and Skills Advice line visit www.skillsforhealth.org.uk and http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/. For the Health Learning and Skills advice line call 08000 150 850