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University to address shortfall in skilled health and social care workers


THE University of Chichester has been awarded £200,000 by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to lead a collaborative project addressing the shortage of skilled workers in the health and social care sector in Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, and the Isle of Wight.

Up to 1.6million workers will be needed by 2022 to replace those leaving this sector, according to the Institute of Public Policy Research. The one-year project is a collaboration between further and higher education providers, private businesses, local authorities and public organisations to upskill the health and social care workforce across the south coast.

An additional £205,000 has been raised by the University and its partners to supplement the HEFCE investment. Professor Catherine Harper, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Chichester, said: “Opportunities for health and social care development and progression are vital to ensure the sector recruits appropriately-skilled and qualified workers in the numbers needed by regional employers for the future.

"The University of Chichester will lead the collaborative project, partnering with the Sussex Learning Network and others, to deliver a bridging course between further and higher education. The programme is designed to be sustainable beyond the funding period of January 2019 to continue to address the health and social care needs of the region."

More than 30 universities and colleges in England were awarded a share of £6.1million from HEFCE to develop new and enhanced higher education courses. Each bidder was funded up to a maximum of £200,000 from the HEFCE catalyst fund programme with additional investment provided by the universities and colleges alongside national employers.

The significant investment by HEFCE is intended to upskill those who will contribute to future UK economic growth by providing employees with expertise in technology-related sectors, including advanced engineering, artificial intelligence, bioscience, and health and social care. The funding is aligned to the government’s long-term Industrial Strategy which, launched last year, aims to boost the productivity and earning power of people across the country.

Professor Madeleine Atkins, Chief Executive of HEFCE, said: “We were delighted with the quality of proposals received for this funding call and particularly the impressive levels of engagement between higher education and industry. The funding will provide new courses and vital skill developments in key industrial sectors across the country from which students, the workforce, and employers all stand to benefit.”

To find out more about the investment from HEFCE for the collaborative curriculum project go to For more on the Government’s Industrial strategy go to