Integrated Care Partnership Strategy

Home 5 Integrated Care Partnership Strategy – Workforce & Skills

Lincolnshire Integrated Care Partnership

Supporting the people of Lincolnshire to have the best start in life, and be supported to live, age, and die well.

The content of the Lincolnshire Integrated Care Partnership Strategy has been broken down into the sections below. Alternatively the full document can be accessed and downloaded using the button on the right. 

Workforce & skills in the health and care sector

Why is this a strategic enabler for our system?

The health and care sector is vital for local employment, and we know there is existing and growing demand for the workforce and skills that cannot be met by the current working age population. Data for 2021 shows nursing and care occupations continuing to report the highest number of vacancies. An increasingly frequent issue reported by employers is the lack of care staff with the ability to drive. Data for January 2022 suggests caring occupations continue to be one of the toughest roles to fill.  Adding to this is the challenge of an ageing and retiring population across Lincolnshire. It is predicted this older population will account for approximately 90% of replacement demand over the next decade, the remainder being the result of new positions being created.

Greater Lincolnshire Local Skills Report January 2022

New technologies are shifting the demand for labour toward higher skilled occupations especially in terms of digital skills. To stay competitive in the labour market, people will need to retrain and upskill more often. Equally, working conditions and salaries will need to be sufficient to attract people to work in the health and care sector.

What will we do?

Our approach as an ICP to tackling these issues and delivering this enabler is to progress in two key areas:

Theme 1: To inspire and support young people to stay, study and work in the Lincolnshire health and care sector.

Theme 2: Collectively take action to address the skills gap within the health and care sector.

The Lincolnshire Health and Care System People Board will be a vehicle to drive improvements specifically in health and care organisations, covering challenges such as recruitment and retention. Although this sits outside the direct scope of the ICP, the necessary connections will be made to ensure work remains aligned.

Theme 1: To inspire and support young people to stay and work in the Lincolnshire health and care sector.

The challenge of retaining graduates and young people is, in part, exacerbated by a perception that the health and care sector does not offer sufficient career growth opportunities within Lincolnshire. Currently, the health and care sector does not sufficiently inspire younger people about the career opportunities available on their doorstep. A lack of awareness about local opportunities can contribute to an individuals’ long-term worklessness. To meet the high replacement demand for health and care services in Lincolnshire, we need to inform younger people (as young as primary school age children) about the occupations, careers, and growth opportunities Lincolnshire can offer.

To support the delivery of this, we will work with partners to:

  • Continue the expansion of the Enterprise Adviser Network (see page 2 of the Local Skills Report, 2022) across Lincolnshire – this will include ensuring Enterprise Advisers fully understand the careers and opportunities in the health and care sector, so they feed into schools’ career programmes, as well as looking to increase the number of Enterprise Advisers from the health and care sector who are able to showcase organisations and opportunities to the local community.
  • Use the Greater Lincolnshire Careers Hub to promote opportunities and careers in the local health and care system – this will include careers fairs, facilitating links between schools and the sector, organising experiences such as visits to the Lincoln Medical School and improving information held about local jobs and careers so young people can access it and feel informed.
Theme 2: Collectively take action to address the skills gap within the health and care sector.

An increase in job vacancies and a shrinking workforce demands an immediate focus to support the health and care sector employers to find new staff whilst retaining those already in the workforce. This is true of a wide range of occupations and at all levels. Literacy and numeracy skills in Lincolnshire are below those recorded nationally. With fewer jobs available for people with only basic qualifications, upskilling will allow them to participate in the local health and care system labour market. Apprenticeships have broadened the route into skilled employment, and so it’s vital the local health and care system builds on the recent Apprenticeship Strategy.  This will include maximising the impact of apprenticeship budgets, offering flexible apprenticeships, new levy transfer mechanisms, and incentives to increase apprenticeship opportunities for people of all ages.

Digital skills have long been seen as crucially important – the need for such skills to avoid social and labour market exclusion has been emphasised by the COVID pandemic. There has been an increased preference for working, learning, and engaging remotely on digital platforms. There is also an increasing need for the ability to use of digital technology in the health and care of patients. A need which has impacts for staff with little or no digital skills.

Working with partners to address the skills gap, we will:

  • Develop skills priority statements for the local health and care sector to maximise future opportunities for local people, and focus on upskilling and retraining workers.
  • Raise awareness, and act on, the priorities put forward in the Apprenticeship Strategy – in particular, those that are relevant to the health and care sector.
  • Ensure a quality online offer to maximise the uptake and delivery of this approach.
  • Encourage businesses to develop and implement workforce and skills strategies.
  • Build on the recommendations of the Digital Skills Workshop to plan specifically for the health and care sector e.g. finding new ways to bring learning to people, target intergenerational groups, and create a digital skills strategy for the health and care sector.