Children's Workforce Guide to Qualifications and Training
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Amid challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Charlotte Goddard identifies entry-level requirements and ongoing professional development for key roles across the children and young people’s workforce.
The Covid-19 pandemic struck a children’s workforce already impacted by budget cuts and Brexit. Across the sector, key workers are overcoming logistical difficulties to support the nation’s children with some former practitioners drawn back into active service. The pandemic is likely to exacerbate existing recruitment and retention crises at a time when support is needed the most.
Many trainees and students saw courses cancelled, delayed or moved online. However, creativity has come to the fore among training providers and some of the innovations and flexibility developed during this period will continue to benefit students in the future. Organisations have also worked hard to create new training programmes that aim to support practitioners to deal with issues arising from the pandemic. For example, a £95,000 government-funded pilot project in partnership with the Education Support Partnership will focus on teachers’ and leaders’ mental health, while Coram Life Education has launched a free teaching toolkit to support children’s health and wellbeing when schools reopen.
Meanwhile, existing programmes developed to enhance recruitment have continued to roll out. Health Education England’s blended learning nursing degree programme will be delivered from January 2021 and the organisation is expanding education and training posts for the future mental health workforce. Potential youth workers can now benefit from bursaries and the National Youth Agency (NYA) continues to develop new training opportunities through its NYA Academy. Now more than ever children’s services will need inspirational leadership, and The Children’s Services Leadership Consortium’s support for aspiring directors aims to create a cohort of strong future leaders for the sector.