Leipzig University Hospital establishes academy for vocational training

Leipzig University Hospital (UKL) has merged its vocational training and continuing education activities under one roof by establishing an academy for vocational training.

The UKL has been continually expanding its vocational education and training offers for many years with 850 students at the Medical Vocational College, trainees in seven other occupations as well as 18,000 participants attending internal advanced and continuing education and training courses annually at the university’s own education and training centre.

The very broad portfolio ranges from training for general nurses to state-recognised continuing education and training in specialist healthcare occupations and has been brought together and merged into an in-house academy.

"Our aim is to offer integrated training for both trainees as well as for UKL employees," explains Dr. Robert Jacob, Chief Financial Officer of the UKL.

Important contribution to ensuring the supply of future talent in healthcare

The largest medical vocational college in the Free State of Saxony is part of Leipzig University Hospital and each year bids farewell to over 110 graduates who have successfully completed their training as general nurses. In so doing it plays an important role in ensuring the supply of future talent in this occupation.

Over recent years, new training occupations are increasingly being included such as technical surgery assistants and healthcare assistants. In addition to the UKL, the training work completed here benefits all healthcare organisations in the region and throughout Saxony.

Training activities have been supported since 2010 by the UKL's own training centre which provides advanced and continuing vocational education and training courses. Over 18,000 course participants are trained in 780 education training activities each year. The range of courses extends from compulsory training such as the regular resuscitation training for all healthcare employees through to specific training for management personnel.

Long-term professional opportunities

"I want to be able to offer our employees the opportunity to develop as experts here in-house with us," says Martin Wessel, Head of the Academy. The aim is to offer employees long-term professional prospects across all occupational groups.

This is also necessary, he explains, as many of the job requirements in the vast ecosystem of a university hospital with over 6,000 employees are becoming increasingly complex. General nurses in the clinics who are now trained as generalists need to continue training as experts – in paediatric nursing, neonatology, theatre nursing or intensive care. This is also, he adds, about organising continuing education in such a way that timing requirements for the recognition of specific qualifications can be adhered to.

Specialist healthcare occupations are becoming increasingly academic

In order to deliver on all these tasks, the UKL has assembled 75 teachers and 300 internal and external contributors in the academy. In addition to this, the digital learning platform "UKLearn" has also been established to support learning independently of location and time. Video and online courses take place on this platform. While this came at the right time during the pandemic, it had been in planning long before.

 "Work in education and training has been facing new challenges for some time," explains Wessel. "We must look for and find new methods, for example by presenting content digitally but also by rethinking." The retraining of employees, he explains, is such a topic enabling options for development to be offered at the UKL or for teaching the new knowledge needed as part of digitalisation. "Part-time training, for example for young parents, might also be something to consider over the coming years," adds Wessel. And, last but not least, the integration of foreign skilled workers with vocational education and training acquired abroad will gain in importance.

A further aspect is the increasing academisation of specialist healthcare occupations in which the close integration of theory and practice is set to continue. In line with this, the UKL Academy, which, up to now, has been providing annual training for midwives , is now taking on the practical training for the new degree course in midwifery at Leipzig University.

"The field of vocational education and training in the healthcare sector is currently undergoing major change and will continue to provide plenty of absorbing challenges into the future; challenges for which we are well prepared with the academy as a central training partner for our trainees and employees," says Dr. Robert Jacob, member of the Board of Directors.

Source: lvz.de (website of the German newspaper Leipziger Volkszeitung), revised by iMOVE, July 2022