NHS staff in Calderdale offered training boost

An innovative partnership designed to help NHS workers secure maths and English qualifications to enhance their career prospects has been launched in West Yorkshire.

By Tom Scargill
Wednesday, 3rd August 2022, 1:52 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd August 2022, 1:55 pm

Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust has partnered with training provider Realise to offer Functional Skills courses and help support internal progressions within the Trust.

The Trust is keen to create further opportunities for their employees but some employees are not able to apply for the roles, despite years of experience, as they do not have the required maths and English qualifications to meet the requirements.

Almost 90 Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust employees have already expressed an interest in the courses – and more than 20 have enrolled.

Chris Seel

Realise is now also offering Functional Skills courses to staff within the Bradford NHS Trust and hopes to compete for health service contracts in other areas of the country in the months to come.

Chris Seel, Head of Adult Education for Realise, said: “We were approached initially by Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust as they were seeking support for colleagues to be able to upskill in their maths and English to support potential access to a range of roles.

“We were involved in a competitive pitch and the Trust was impressed with our flexibility towards the learners and how the modules are delivered.

“The Trust have 3,000 employees who they feel could take advantage of the training but we had no idea how many enrolments to expect.

“We’ve been delighted with the initial demand with 88 learners expressing an interest over the first five weeks.

“We look forward to helping these people learn life skills, progress in their careers and take on new roles.”

Realise is attending all hospitals within the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust and the Bradford NHS Trust to promote the opportunity.

The Skill Builder gauge is used by Realise to determine what level learners are at before the training begins.

The vast majority of people, 96 percent, will complete the courses within three months, though it can be extended if more time is required.

Chris said: “Maths and English lessons are tailored to the learner. They have a dedicated tutor and do a mix of face-to-face and online learning, or solely face-to-face or solely online if they’d prefer.

“We also do external webinars if they need help on particular topics, for example fractions. These are recorded so people can revisit them if they can’t watch live.”

Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust previously offered in-house training based purely online. However, there was no dedicated tutor and there was a high number of failures.

Liam Whitehead, Head of Apprenticeships & Widening Participation at the NHS, praised Realise for its approach in upskilling employees.

He said: “Working with Realise has enabled us to support and nurture our teams even further.

“Colleagues are now able to benefit and upskill in their maths, English and digital skills, which will go a long way in encouraging internal application into roles that have additional requirements.

“We have had a fantastic response to this offer of support so far with over 80 colleagues applying since June alone.

“This can be a big step for some especially when they may not have accessed education and training for some time.

“We look forward to working in partnership with Realise who have been highly responsive and flexible in their delivery to support a range of colleagues across different NHS professions.”

For more information, visit www.realisetraining.com