South Devon College launches career programme for health and social care work

Torbay Weekly

A new career programme aimed at people working in health and social care has been launched at South Devon College.

The Health and Social Care Skills Accelerator Programme (HSSAP) will provide a suite of specialised, accredited, funded qualifications for those already working in the sector and anyone planning to.

Both areas are seeing the need for more staff. The NHS employs 1.4 million people with social care employing 1.48 million.

Due to the increased number of disabled younger adults and older people needing care, adult social care is growing, and the sector needs at least another 500,000 jobs, and people to do them, by 2030.

The NHS, mental health services and community providers, according to The Kings Fund, an independent, charitable organisation working to improve health and care in England, are reporting a shortage of nearly 84,000 full time vacancies, of which 38,000 are for nurses.

“There is a need for skilled people to work within the health and social care sector both locally and nationally,” said Lucy Parkin, head of curriculum, health and care at South Devon College.

“Each person on this new programme will have their own dedicated career coach providing one-to-one coaching and support throughout the programme.

"There will also be opportunities for exploring progression within the sector, as well as progression on to further or higher learning, including apprenticeships.”

The HSSAP programme is part funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and developed by Devon County Council in partnership with all the Devon NHS Trusts, three local authorities and further education providers, with representatives from adult social care providers, primary care and Proud to Care.

The HSSAP programme also offers Pathway to Care and Care Skills Development.

Pathway to Care is for those who are hoping to work in health or care and offers a range of training programmes designed to give an insight into working in the sector.

Care Skills Development is for those within care-based employment looking to develop their knowledge and skills so they can provide enhanced care for their service users and clients.

“The pandemic introduced so many new workers to a sector that was in need of heroes to step up and support our wonderful communities at the most critical time we have ever faced,” said Katrina Green, director of Bay Care Group, who employ over 250 community healthcare assistants, working in partnership as an outstanding provider in the Torbay and South Devon area.

“If you have been thinking about a career in health and social care then now is the time to take that leap.

"The sector needs a fresh dedicated workforce to join the existing army of heroes.”

Lucy Parkin from South Devon College agrees. “A job in health or social care is a job for life. Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust employs 6,000 people and with its new £15 million Acute Medicine Unit under construction, that number is going to increase. Anyone who chooses this sector, or is already working in the sector, will have a career for life.”

For more information on who is eligible for the HSSAP programme, visit