Shape your future workforce

Jigsaw puzzle piece

24 / 9 / 2015 11.02am

In brief

  • Employers need to take steps to recruit young people now to prevent workforce supply shortages in the future
  • Recruiting young people and training them in house will ensure that the workforce has the skills and knowledge needed to continue delivering high quality care
  • Employing young people will help tackle the issue of the ageing workforce in the NHS as older workers can transfer their knowledge and skills to younger recruits


"Around 30,000 NHS staff retire each year. An ageing NHS workforce therefore creates additional incentives for NHS employers to attract younger staff and to build young people’s skills now so that we can ensure a high quality workforce for the future."  (CIPD Investing in Young People report, 2012).

The CIPD Investing in Young People report stated that:

  • Skills shortages are set to increase in the UK and globally which means that if you don’t take advantage of younger talent, you will run out of workers
  • We will need to fill 13.5 million job vacancies in the next ten years
  • The UK population is projected to continue ageing, with the average (median) age rising from 39.7 years in 2010 to 42.2 by 2035

The 2015 report from UKCES into skills and performance challenges for the health sector anticipates that 'over two million new workers will need to be trained and recruited into the health and social care sector between 2012 and 2022 as the sector grows and some members of staff retire. This is equivalent to over half of the existing workforce and presents key challenges for training and staff retention.'

The accompanying infographic suggests that a way to overcome this challenge is to recruit more young people and to look at different types of occupations and skills.

Healthcare roles remain vital to the UK. In predicting which roles will remain crucial to the UK job market over the next decade, UKCES’s Careers of the future report has listed care workers and health care assistants as two of the top 40 jobs of the future. 

Recent publications such as the Francis and Cavendish reports indicate that finding the right people for the role has never been more important in the NHS. Recruiting young people will help you to grow a workforce that is compassionate and patient centred, and committed to providing high quality patient care.

Employing young people should be embedded into any workforce planning in your organisation. You can use the principles of growing your own talent through creating work experience and apprenticeship vacancies based on what you need as an employer, training young recruits to have the necessary skills and values.



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