Reader’s Comment on Workforce Shortage – ‘The Chickens Are Coming Home To Roost’

Yesterday we published a post on "NHS Workforce Shortage - Part of a Wider Trend." It contained a state-of-play situation and outlook from Adzuna's latest report, and some first-hand insight from Edbury Daley of IT procurement recruitment fame. Today, we received this considered commentary from one of our readers that we'd like to share with you. It comes from Michael Angel, Senior Procurement Manager with Ensemble Purchasing, a shared procurement service available to members of LUPC (London Universities Purchasing Consortium). 

"The chickens are coming home to roost sadly. I've seen all too many times the NHS look internationally for qualified medical staff given the limited amount of training opportunities and qualifications within the UK. Putting that to one side. The Health and Social Care Act Bill more or less killed GP Services whereby there has been a big shift towards PMS contracts rather than GMS contracts that offered more security. So GP's are looking more internationally eg New Zealand whereby similar arrangements exist. For nursing it is so much more tricky. Similar to teachers, the salary simply isn't enough to entice new blood. When you consider the bandings for nurses, many will go on agency and earn more doing the same role. Not an ideal situation, but they do that given many of the internal policies around bank work that restrict nurses working more hours during the week to increase their earning potential. However, with Brexit, this could be relaxed.

In terms of the fabled procurement shortage - there are many issues which for the most part I see as being self inflicted. For starters both Private and Public Sector not considering hiring talent outside of their respective sectors. Can't think of any other profession that subscribes to that madness! After all we all study and apply the same practices and techniques for crying out loud!

I also think the approach of going after university graduates is somewhat misguided. Me, I would focus on trying to attract A-Level students. The thing to consider with Graduates (the majority for the most part) are coming out of university with a debt. They will want to hit the ground running and start earning to eradicate that debt and boost prospects of getting on the property ladder. Also they've spent the last 4-5 years studying. Not sure they will be filled with joy knowing they may need to do another 3 to obtain another qualification to do a job.

I'd focus on getting into colleges and creating entry-level opportunities for A-Level students to get a grounding in procurement. This way studying for CIPS is more attractive, they are not far short of being degree calibre (given they will likely be degree entry calibre) and also they benefit from solid mentoring and building up experience. Creating more apprenticeships too again gets future blood early and invested in the potentials of a career in procurement and supply chain."

Thanks to Michael for his thoughts on this subject. We'd be delighted to hear from other readers too.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Spend Matters.

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