New Diploma in Society, Health and Development in Great Demand - 72 dpi Image of Diploma Students Available

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As the new Diploma in Society, Health and Development (SHD) becomes available at Foundation, Higher and Advanced levels, demand for the Advanced Diploma is so great that three of the 39 consortia of schools, colleges and employers delivering it are already over-subscribed.

Overall, in excess of 3,000 young people are starting to study the Diploma in SHD this month (September 2008). Growth is expected to be exponential and by this time next year it is anticipated there will be around 100 consortia to address demand across each level. By 2010 the Diploma in SHD will also be available as an option within the Welsh baccalaureate.

Skills for Health, the sector skills council for the healthcare sector, led the development of the content of the Diploma - in partnership with Skills for Care, Skills Active and Skills for Justice - and is now working on the next stage, which will incorporate specialist learning at the Advanced level and include guidance for employers on how they can get involved locally.

Alder Hey Hospital in Merseyside is the first hospital in England to establish a permanent on-site training base for the Diploma in SHD. Young people will be taught directly by the hospital's own staff, with all learning co-ordinated, managed and performed by professional and clinical Alder Hey personnel.

Moya Sutton, Director of Nursing at Alder Hey said:

"Our part in teaching the Diploma in Society, Health and Development is helping Alder Hey Hospital to address long-term sustainable workforce succession planning for the future. We are delighted that so many young people have chosen to study at Alder Hey and we look forward to seeing them experiencing a different style of learning in our dedicated classrooms."

Sharon Ensor, Divisional Manager, Youth, at Skills for Health, added:

"The health sector offers fantastic career opportunities to many young people and we applaud the team at Alder Hey for setting up a dedicated training base on-site where youngsters can find out for themselves about the reality of different roles.

"As well as helping to ensure that young people are best placed to make properly informed choices when the time comes for them to select a career, for those who do decide that healthcare is right for them, Alder Hey Hospital is likely to be front of mind as a potential employer.

"Skills for Health's ongoing role will be to encourage other employers in the sector to get involved so they too can reap the benefits and play their part in developing the healthcare workforce of the future".

About the Diploma in Society, Health and Development Diploma (Diploma in SHD) -

The Diploma in SHD is an exciting and innovative new qualification for 14 - 19 year-olds in England. It involves a unique mix of general education, essential skills, hands-on experience and employer-based learning that prepares young people for work or further study.

Diplomas are new employer designed qualifications offered at three levels in 14 broad employment sectors. They represent the most important change to the country's education system for more than a century and have been developed with support and input from employers, employer bodies, unions, further and higher education, training providers and awarding bodies. Completing a Diploma allows young people to progress to further study, university or employment.

During the design of the Diploma in Society, Health and Development, these stakeholders - together with four Sector Skills Councils from the employer-led Skills for Business network - have collaborated extensively as part of the Diploma in SHD's 'Diploma Development Partnership' (DDP). These SSCs involved are:

SkillsActive (representing the wider children's workforce)
Skills for Care (representing adult social care)
Skills for Health (representing the health sector)
Skills for Justice (representing community justice)

Skills for Health is the lead SSC in the design of the Diploma in SHD and has taken responsibility for setting up and chairing the DDP to produce the Diploma's final 'statement of content'.

The Diploma in SHD will be available in selected schools and colleges in England with effect from September 2008 (for details see the 'Gateway' section of the DCSF website at For further information about the Diploma in Society, Health and Development visit or email

Media contact:
Louise Jaggs, Skills for Health
+44 (0)1242 257770
+44 (0)7712 011246
louise @


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