Skills for Care’s Graduate Management programme image

Skills for Care is looking for innovative social care organisations to host ambitious graduates on a one-year programme designed to develop future leaders in health and social care.

Run in partnership between Skills for Care, the NHS Leadership Academy, and supported by the Department of Health and Social Care, the challenging programme offers employers access to a talented pipeline of graduates who bring transferable skills and knowledge which are a proven catalyst for change and improvement.

Since its launch in 2009, Skills for Care’s Graduate Management programme has seen 140 graduates join employers after completing a rigorous values-based selection process before being carefully matched with host organisations.

The programme also includes a secondment with NHS partners offering the graduates to gain invaluable experience working in both social care and health.

Melanie Weatherly MBE, Chair of Lincolnshire Care Association (LinCA), recently hosted graduate Grace Neal. Over her year with LinCA, Grace worked to improve the workforce of care staff in Lincolnshire by working closely with schools and colleges to develop a Care College in Lincoln. She supported SME providers to access council levy funding, increasing the amount of apprenticeships in Lincolnshire.

Grace also completed her secondment with Health Education England, helping her to understand health and social care as a system-wide approach.

“What has been fantastic to watch is the way that Grace has blossomed, and there isn’t any other way to describe it,” said Melanie. “LinCA would be happy to host another graduate, and part of Grace’s contract involves her completing an application to host a future graduate.

“Taking part in the programme made us think about our key objectives as an organisation and clearly articulate how these could be achieved. We have also benefited from having a new perspective as part of our discussions.”

According to Skills for Care, 70 percent of recent graduates have committed to a health and social care career on completion of the programme with many already in senior leadership and management roles.

Andy Tilden, Skills for Care’s interim CEO, added: “Now going into our tenth cohort, we’ve seen many success stories over the years as the programme continues to develop influential and confident leaders of the future.

“It’s imperative that we continue to invest in new talent as the sector faces significant challenges. The programme offers graduates the chance to develop their careers, and their hosts have told us how graduates have created opportunities to do things differently in their service. I would urge any organisation thinking of offering a placement to apply before the deadline.”

Applications for organisations to host a graduate are open now until 6th of April 2020. More information about the programme can be found at

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