Skills for Care

Skills for Care

Skills for Care

Skills for Care helps create a well-led, skilled and valued adult social care workforce. Developed in partnership with the NHS Leadership Academy and the Department of Health and Social Care, our Graduate Management programme is designed to fast-track graduates into leadership roles in the ever-growing health and social care sector.

During the one-year programme, graduates achieve a fully-funded leadership and management qualification, plus a project management accreditation. We recruit from all over the UK and place graduates across England with forward- thinking health and social care employers.

Entry criteria


Applicants must:

■ have 2:2 or equivalent in any subject by September 2020

■ be available to take up their post in October 2020

■ be able to complete a full year with their host organisation from October 2020 to October 2021.

Language skills

Applicants must have demonstrable skills in spoken English to enable effective communication in the workplace.

Career progression

Applicants must:

■ be able to provide complete details of their education and any employment history

■ have evidence that their career progression is consistent with their personal circumstances

■ not already hold, nor be eligible to hold, a Level 5 Leadership and Management qualification

■ not have previously relinquished or been released / removed from a training programme in the health or care sector.

Apply: Skills for Care scheme

Case Studies

  • Name: Emily Paine
  • Role: Business Development Coordinator
  • Joined: 2018

I am grateful that I was given the oppportunity to develop the role as I wanted it, thereby finding

the type of work I want to pursue after the graduate programme.


I have been working for Future Directions since January 2018 as part of the Skills for Care graduate programme. In my role as Business Development Coordinator, I have been given a well-rounded and exciting experience in an innovative organisation.

From the start, my manager John has made my career development a priority. He has encouraged me to take part in any projects I wish, which has given me the experience and confidence I need to develop in my role. In frontline experience, I spent a week shadowing network managers at the houses, developing a better understanding of our services before leading a project to increase use of assistive technology amongst people we support.

My main role has been in helping people in their transition to move to our services. I find this role incredibly rewarding. In addition to working directly with people we support to help them plan their move, every day offers new and exciting challenges, including meeting with housing developers to plan new services, meeting with social workers to coordinate the move and understand the support needs, and meeting with commissioners to confirm hours and costs.

  • Name: Daniel Little
  • Role: Graduate Management Programme
  • Joined: 2018


Daniel Little graduated from Skills for Care’s Graduate Management programme in January 2019, and was part of the seventh cohort of ambitious and driven graduates looking for a career in health and social care. He talks about his experience and how you should make the most of the connections you make.

Everyone on the programme will have a unique experience with their cohort, and everyone will be looking for something different. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the other graduates, but now that my placement is over, I can look back at my time and safely say I was not disappointed and valued their company.

They’ve provided many laughs along the way, and I’ve made some strong friendships. It’s a strange relationship only seeing each other once a month, then having to spend all day in a professional setting.

The great thing about the programme is that it attracts so many varied people from all back- grounds and walks of life; there will be someone in your network suited to any mood you’re in and to lift you when you’re feeling down. I urge everyone to forge as many friendships as possible on this programme, because talking to someone else who’s in the same situation has proven to be really helpful.

Leadership and management training will teach you that every connection is an opportunity to make a difference, and there will be fewer professional environments safer than your graduate programme to make these valuable contacts. Make the most of every opportunity, be sure to keep an open mind and who knows where the programme could take you – good luck everyone!

Application Procedure

Application completion

All sections of the application form must be completed fully according to written guidelines.

Desired characteristics

Applicants must demonstrate the following:

■ Collaborative working capabilities

■ excellent communication skills

■ the ability to make an impact through presentation

■ the ability to build and develop productive relationships and networks

■ the ability to influence and lead others using a variety of styles and approaches

■ an understanding of personal impact on others

■ confidence to lead others, encourage contribution, recognise and respect the views of others

■ empathy and appreciation of the needs of end users of health and social care services

■ the ability to actively listen to, support and gain the trust of others.

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