Leeds City College, a member of Luminate Education Group, has launched a bespoke community health and wellbeing worker apprenticeship standard that will aim to improve health, prevent ill-health, and reduce inequalities in the West Yorkshire region.
Community health and wellbeing workers work in partnership with individuals and their communities to identify and address health and wellbeing needs, as well as inequalities.
The apprenticeship comes at a crucial time when mental health issues have risen by more than a quarter, with 60% of adults and 68% of young people saying that their mental health got worse during lockdown.
According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, almost 400,000 children and 2.2 million adults sought help for mental health problems during the pandemic, with 1.68 million more mental health sessions delivered over the past year compared with the year before.
The college will be the first in the country to deliver the apprenticeship with plans to deliver it remotely in the coming months.
The 12-month Level 3 programme will provide learners with a practical and affordable opportunity to develop their skills, while giving employers leeway to train their existing workforce in line with their company goals.
The trailblazer group was set up over 12 months ago and the college has been working in partnership with employers including the London Borough of Greenwich Brighton, Hove City Council, Cambridge, and Peterborough Integrated Care System (ICS).
Lee Pryor, Director of Apprenticeships at Luminate Education Group said: “Last year highlighted the significant pressures on community mental health and wellbeing services and how this has drastically changed as a result of the pandemic.
“This new apprenticeship comes at a time where concerns have been raised that mental health and care services may not reopen as before. It will be an opportunity to restore confidence within the community and prepare learners for the long-term, especially when in-person services are reinstated.
“Community health and wellbeing workers are a fast-growing workforce that will support the increasing emphasis on improving the health of local people and communities, and we want to work with organisations such as the NHS and local government to ensure that learners looking to progress in this area in the sector are equipped with the knowledge and skills to carry out their duties effectively.”
Last year, the college became one of six providers in the Northeast & Yorkshire region to be awarded several apprenticeship standards, including the healthcare cleaning operative and health play specialist apprenticeship.
For more about the apprenticeship and how to apply, email email@example.com