Current pathways into health, law enforcement and education jobs remain focussed on school leavers spending 3 years plus at University. These pathways are not designed to support people transitioning from other careers, do not recognise the expertise that more experienced people can bring and do not recognise the realities of lives, families and geographies.
We need to find an approach that measures competence in and following the learning and training competence out. This should reduce the time required to a minimum for learning and fastrack where appropriate those with extant skills.
Learning should be delivered predominantly online and supplemented with intensive face to face delivery.
Regulatory requirements (for instance in nursing) will need to flex to ensure this model of competency assessment can over-ride fixed learning hours requirements. Placements for teachers and nurses need to be opened up (a current rate limiter to learning), following the student that are appropriate geographically and delivered at the right time for the student. New placement opportunities should be identified in other parts of the care and education sectors.
Many of these job roles are trained through the apprenticeship programme. This will also require some flexibility to allow accelerated and different formats of learning.
If this programme is to encourage people from diverse backgrounds into these careers it will need to recognise the needs of people who have jobs, families and other caring responsibilities. Learning should be shaped around their lives rather than them shaping their lives around the learning.