FuturU launches ‘Prescription for Change’ research report

An image of a nurse working on a tablet

We’re excited to unveil our new research report, “Prescription for Change”, where we polled 500 nurses and care workers on their current learning and development opportunities and whether their needs are being met.

One in three skipping meals

Shockingly, nearly one in three (32%) nurses and care workers in the UK are skipping meals to afford vital training that allows them to work and keep skills up-to-date. Additionally, 42% are paying for training out of their own pockets, according to our research. 

The research revealed that the average self-funder spends nearly a fifth (18%) of their monthly salary on training courses, equivalent to around £5,660. This often means they are unable to save money, or worse, afford basic necessities like food or heating. With a higher volume of courses to undertake, nurses are likely to spend a higher average percentage of their wages on training (19%) than care workers (16%).

Burden of training cost taking its toll

Given the financial sacrifices of nurses and care workers, and the budget squeezes within the NHS and among social care providers, it is becoming more difficult for people to afford to work in the health and social care sectors. 31% of nurses and care workers surveyed are taking out loans to pay for training, with 17% going into debt.

On top of the financial pressures only half (48%) of nurses and care workers are “very confident” they have the right skills to do their jobs, pointing to severe limitations with current training. This has contributed to 50% of workers experiencing stress and poor mental health. The skills gap is also causing 39% of staff to work overtime, with 30% experiencing burnout. 

Commenting on the findings, Michael Manuccia, CEO at FuturU said: “Nurses and care workers have dedicated their lives to helping others, but we’re asking them to take on more work, with fewer people, in the most challenging conditions. On top of that, we’re expecting them to take on the economic burden of a health and social care education and often finance it with debt. It’s no wonder that so many people are leaving the sector. This is no longer just a workforce challenge, but a societal issue that’s playing out all across the world.”

Accessible and affordable training is key

Accessible and affordable training options are highly sought after. 86% of nurses and care workers agreed that free training would help develop their skills and allow them to explore new specialisms. Technology can be invaluable in helping bring the cost of training down, even making it free, without sacrificing on quality. The research also revealed that there is a strong willingness among nurses and social care workers (52%) to use digital devices and applications to complete training courses. 

“Smarter use of technology will help drive down the cost and increase the personalisation of training, in a way that’s much more scalable. We need to stop treating training as a tick-box exercise and start seeing it as a crucial tool for empowering healthcare workers to fulfil their potential. This means creating training courses that are free, engaging and accessible via the devices they use on a day-to-day basis. That’s what we’re building at FuturU” added Manuccia.

Kanayo, a healthcare assistant and live-in carer based in Edinburgh, started using FuturU’s free training platform after she found herself struggling to pay for mandatory training courses. The 42-year-old, who has been working for a specialist homecare provider since moving to the UK from Nigeria in 2021, explained that training is crucial forbuilding my skills, experience and confidence.”

She added: I feel like healthcare training should be free. In the past, I’ve had to pay anywhere from £3 to £29 per training course in areas like first aid, food and safety and manual handling. I calculated what it was going to cost to renew all my certificates and I realised that I could no longer afford it. With FuturU, I can renew all my certificates while also completing other training courses and gain new skills in the process.” 

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