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New health and social care, and childcare qualifications launched

Learners across Wales, looking to forge a career in the care sector, have this week begun studying a new suite of qualifications designed to strengthen the profession for the future.

The new health and social care, and childcare qualifications will help to strengthen the care sector at a time when its services provide a vital lifeline to communities and families across Wales.

The qualifications, which are all offered bilingually, also provide a recognised and consistent standard for all those working in health and social care, and childcare, and offer a clear career pathway for those wanting to progress.

Developed in partnership by Qualifications Wales, Social Care Wales and Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW), and delivered by a consortium made up of the Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC) and City and Guilds, students can now work towards a variety of qualifications based on their interests or job roles.

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Qualifications Wales Chief Executive Philip Blaker believes that this has the potential to establish Wales as a leader in these important sectors,

“In developing these qualifications we have worked in a highly collaborative way with colleagues in health, social care and childcare sectors and the regulators of these workforces in Wales to ensure these qualifications fully meet the needs of the sector.

“We are confident that the qualifications we are putting in place will become the envy of the care sector in other nations”.

Earlier this year, Social Care Wales launched a long-term national campaign called WeCare Wales to attract more people to work in care roles, with the aim of recruiting an additional 20,000 workers by 2030 to meet growing demand for services.

Social Care Wales Chief Executive Sue Evans added,

“Those who embark on a career in the health and social care, and childcare sectors must be confident that their profession is one that nurtures talent, rewards skills, and allows ambitions to be realised. These new qualifications will build on the excellent work already being carried out, and will enable the sector to take on the challenges that lie ahead.”

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The majority of the new qualifications will be introduced for first teaching in September 2019, with the remainder being introduced in September 2020. There will be a transition period for those already studying for existing qualifications to ensure that they can still enter the sector.

Alex Howells is Chief Executive of HEIW,

“Our sectors are not afraid of challenge and change, as anyone working in health and social care, and childcare knows. But this is not about discarding what has gone before but building on its strengths.  Qualifications must meet the needs of learners and employers, but, the ultimate aim is to meet the needs of thousands of individuals and families who rely on care and support every day. Our aspiration is that these qualifications continue to support and help develop a skilled and confident workforce.”

The existing qualifications have been streamlined to provide clarity and coherence, with over 240 qualifications reduced to a suite of around 20. They will be delivered by a consortium of the WJEC and City & Guilds, who have strong track records of bilingual qualification development, assessment design and delivery.

Dafydd Evans is Chief Executive of Grŵp Llandrillo Menai and welcomes the new qualifications,

“These new qualifications are essential if we are to recruit the skilled workforce in the numbers that we need for the future. We have many students who wish to have a career in these sectors and as the new qualifications have a clearer focus and are more streamlined they are certainly more attractive to our students.

“It is heartening to have a sector that is willing to modernise, always seeking to improve, and understands that services must evolve to meet present and future needs. This is exactly what these new qualifications offer us.”

For anyone interested in learning more about the new qualifications or enrolling in a course, please visit www.healthandcarelearning.wales

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