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Talent for Care

Improving education, training and development opportunities available to those working in an NHS support role.

The NHS's support workforce, which includes healthcare assistants, maternity support workers and therapy assistants, makes up 40 percent of the total workforce and provides around 60 percent of patient care. 

Despite this, the support workforce receives less than 5 percent of the national training budget. Under the three primary themes of Get In, Get On and Go Further, we’re working with national, regional and local partners to change this picture, increase investment in the support workforce and to spread good practice and innovation.

In October 2014, the NHS launched a new strategy for support worker education and development called Talent for Care.

Talent for Care sets out ten strategic priorities: 

  1. Attract more young people into NHS employment and improve the diversity of the workforce
  2. Increase work experience opportunities
  3. Increase the number of NHS Ambassadors promoting NHS careers
  4. NHS employers and contractors to implement a development programme for all support staff
  5. Implementation of the Care Certificate and, in the future where required, the Higher Certificate
  6. Double the number of apprenticeships by March 2016
  7. Simplify career progression routes including into pre-registration employment
  8. Agree with employers and education providers a universal acceptance of prior learning, vocational training and qualifications
  9. Support talent development
  10. Share information and spread good practice.

Strategies are grouped under the following areas:

  • Get In – strategies designed to increase awareness of NHS careers, encourage more young people to work in caring roles (for example, by increasing work experience opportunities) and improving the diversity of the workforce. 
  • Get On – programmes aimed at ensuring support staff have the right knowledge, skills and attitudes to deliver safe and effective care. 
  • Go Further – providing opportunities to develop and progress careers including into preregistration degrees.


The Talent for Care toolkit is designed to help you think through the strategies which help set a plan for the access into, training of and development in healthcare settings. It poses questions pertaining to each of the strategic aspirations and then provides a link which may help how you achieve that goal. The checklist is followed by a more detailed How do I do this? section. You can download the full toolkit in the related documents section at the bottom of this page.

Read more about the Talent for Care programme on our national page. This programme is also closely aligned with the Widening Participation programme, which you can read more about on our national page. 


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