The objective of the Pact for Skills is to mobilise all relevant stakeholders to reflect and decide on the measures to be undertaken in order to adequately skill health professionals. The health sector has been identified as a priority partnership to be launched under the Pact. The digitalisation of the healthcare ecosystem, in particular the EU Health Data Space (EHDS), with promoting the skilling and upskilling of the health workforce is an important priority for the European Commission. It is key to develop a skilling and reskilling strategy, giving the right skills to people to use the data, both health professionals and patients/citizens, and develop skill partnerships.
BEWELL (Blueprint alliance for a future hEalth Workforce stratEgy on digital and green skiLLs) is such a partnership, established through an Erasmus+ 4-year EU project on digital skills, that just started, and of which the EFN is a key partner.
BEWELL aims to form an alliance, to build a movement of all healthcare stakeholders supporting and committed to the development, implementation, and upscaling of the strategy on upskilling and reskilling of the European health workforce. The ultimate project aim is to develop a green and digital skills’ strategy for the health ecosystem that can be implemented at a local, regional, national, and ultimately at the European level through the Pact for Skills, in the context of the Blueprint for sectoral cooperation on skills.
The BEWELL project specifically aims to:
- Develop and implement a strategy (blueprint) for sectoral cooperation on skills in the healthcare sector, which will later be incorporated into a Pact for Skills health partnership. Sustainability and exploitation activity will ensure the uptake of the strategy by partners at the European level.
- Develop skills intelligence on the digital and green skills needs of the health workforce supporting care integration to identify what exists in the European area, what are the main outcomes and what are the conditions of implementation.
- Boost innovation by exchanging knowledge among higher education, vocational education and training, and the broader socio-economic environment.
- Complement existing curricula for higher education, vocational education, and on the job training to address skill mismatches and support the development of entrepreneurial mind-sets in the EU. The project will develop and implement pilot training to address urgent skills focusing on offering micro-credentials to address needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and from an increasing demand for digital and green skills in the healthcare sector.
- Improve the digital and green skills of the healthcare workforce by ensuring that these skills are included in the core content of initial education as well as continuing professional development (reskilling and upskilling) of healthcare professionals and workers.
The EFN will be actively participating in most Work Packages, especially the development of the skill strategy (WP3) based on WP2 mapping of existing upskilling and reskilling initiatives and upscaling analysis/findings, led by European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies (Observatory) and the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (Nivel). The main purpose of WP3 is to produce a strategy for the European health ecosystem that has systemic and structural impact on reducing skills shortages, gaps and mismatches, as well as ensuring appropriate quality and levels of skills.
The EFN will elaborate, with consortium stakeholders, the exploitation plan once the main results are achieved (WP4,5 and 6), and having a huge network, the EFN will be also be taking part in WP9 to deliver communication and dissemination activities.
The consortium consists of 24 beneficiaries and 4 associated partners from 11 countries: 12 from Belgium (all of them being Pan European partners), 4 from the Netherlands, 2 from Germany, 2 from Italy, 2 from Norway, 1 from Austria, 1 from Bulgaria, 1 from Greece, 1 from Ireland, 1 from Romania and 1 from Switzerland.
Upskilling and reskilling our healthcare professionals, especially nurses, is key to create a robust and resilient healthcare ecosystem and to be better prepared for facing future healthcare crisis and challenges. The EFN looks forward to the development of the project bringing in the nurses’ voice and expertise.
>> BeWell Kick-off meeting – Press Release (19/07/2022)