Skills for Care is looking for innovative social care organisations to host ambitious graduates on a one-year programme designed to develop future leaders in health and social care.
Run in partnership between Skills for Care, the NHS Leadership Academy, and supported by the Department of Health and Social Care, the challenging programme offers employers access to a talented pipeline of graduates who bring transferable skills and knowledge which are a proven catalyst for change and improvement.
Since its launch in 2009, Skills for Care’s Graduate Management programme 140 graduates have joined employers after completing a rigorous values-based selection process before being carefully matched with host organisations.
Melanie Weatherly MBE, Chair of Lincolnshire Care Association (LinCA), recently hosted graduate Grace Neal. Over her year with LinCA, Grace worked to improve the workforce of care staff in Lincolnshire by working closely with schools and colleges to develop a Care College in Lincoln. She also supported SME providers to access council levy funding, increasing the amount of apprenticeships in Lincolnshire.
Grace also completed her secondment with Health Education England, helping her to understand health and social care as a system-wide approach.
“What has been fantastic to watch is the way that Grace has blossomed, and there isn’t any other way to describe it,” says Melanie. “LinCA would be happy to host another graduate, and part of Grace’s contract involves her completing an application to host a future graduate.
“Taking part in the programme made us think about our key objectives as an organisation and clearly articulate how these could be achieved. We have also benefited from having a new perspective as part of our discussions.”
Yvonne Obuaya, Managing Director at Curado, also welcomed a graduate into her organisation.
“What attracted me to this programme?”, she smiles. “When I was at an interview panel for the programme, the presentations that the graduates were giving were so impressive. I thought to myself wow, I need these people in my company.”
Overall, the programme has been a positive experience for Curado: “There have been lots of benefits, but I would say the key ones have been the impact on our workforce. Our employee engagement has enhanced greatly, and when you have more valued staff, they are more motivated, and they will go the extra mile.
“That in effect has had an impact on the quality of care that’s being delivered, and it’s given Curado an insight into the direction it wants to go into.”
Andy Tilden, Skills for Care’s interim CEO, added: “Now going into our tenth cohort, we’ve seen many success stories over the years as the programme continues to develop influential and confident leaders of the future.
“It’s imperative that we continue to invest in new talent as the sector faces significant challenges. The programme offers graduates the chance to develop their careers, and their hosts have told us how graduates have created opportunities to do things differently in their service. I would urge any organisation thinking of offering a placement to apply before the deadline.”
Applications for organisations to host a graduate are open now until Monday 6 April 2020. More information about the programme can be found at www.skillsforcare.org.uk/hostagraduate