A strategy on upskilling and reskilling the European health workforce is being produced by a consortium of 24 partners from 11 European countries, led by the European Health Management Association (EHMA). The strategy is part of a project called BeWell, which is a large-scale skills partnership what will work with a wide range of healthcare stakeholders to gather insights and deliver training programmes that help inform a strategy that integrates into local, regional, national and European plans. The BeWell strategy will prepare the health workforce for future challenges and ever-changing societal context and evolving expectations.
The Europe-wide consortium includes employers, trade associations, trade unions, public service unions, non-governmental organisations, research institutions, vocational education and training providers, higher education institutions, industry, health authorities, insurers, as well as organisations representing and bringing the perspectives of health and social care professionals including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, radiologists, and health managers.
The project contributes to the Pact for Skills initiative under the European Skills Agenda 2020 aiming to empower the healthcare workforce to participate in the green and digital transition. The Pact will facilitate collaboration between a wide range of public and private stakeholders by setting up a large-scale skills partnership embracing local, regional and national levels.
The project officially started on 1 July. During the two-day kick-off meeting in Brussels, the partners went through all the tasks, activities and phases of work and planned immediate actions. To start with, partners will carry out a review of the existing upskilling and reskilling initiatives and Open Education Resources. Later, the partnership will develop a green and digital skills strategy for the health ecosystem and will build comprehensive curricula and training programmes that will be piloted and assessed during the lifetime of the project. With the experience and lessons learnt from the piloting phase, partners will refine and finalise the strategy.
George Valiotis, Executive Director of EHMA, and Project Coordinator of BeWell expressed his excitement about the project:
“We are delighted to launch BeWell. Writing a strategy to modernise the health workforce will only be successful if we involve all stakeholders. This is why our consortium brings together a substantial and diverse pool of leaders including professional groups such as nurses, doctors and health managers, students, industry, education institutions, and many more. The project has also gained support from multiple Directorate Generals of the European Commission including SANTE, GROW, and EMPL. This level of support and engagement gives us confidence that over the four years of the project we will be able to deliver a strategy that is implemented at all levels including local, regional, national and European.”
Attending the kick-off, Katarzyna Ptak-Bufkens, Policy Officer at DG SANTE commented on the importance of BeWell:
“BeWell should empower health workers to build healthier and more resilient societies. It will not only tap into the potential of investments in skills of health professionals of today, but will also prepare the next generation of health workers. This initiative can reply to Europe’s societal call for more accessible and more effective health systems. It would be crucial to ensure that patients’ experience and needs are taken into account in the design and roll out of curricula. Health professionals know best the needs of patients, so working closely with them is a precondition to fully exploit the potential of this initiative.”
The project will last 4 years, until 31 June 2026.
To learn more about the project and get engaged: Georgia Karyami, BeWell Programme Manager, email@example.com.