Vaughan Gething, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services
Despite the impact of a decade of cuts, the Welsh Government has consistently invested in the education and training of individuals working in and wanting to work within the NHS; and as a government we continue to do so. We have demonstrated this, year after year with the number of training places offered in Wales at its highest since devolution.
On 23 April I confirmed the NHS Wales Bursary Scheme will remain in place for individuals electing to study an eligible health care related programme in Wales commencing in the academic year 2019 / 20. This means, in Wales the full bursary package will continue to be available for those who commit in advance to work in Wales for up to two years post qualification.
It is important to ensure the investment we make in healthcare education and training provides the right type of support to encourage individuals to consider healthcare as a career. To do this, the support arrangements must address the issues students identify as barriers to studying, and we need to listen to what students and employers tell us about the support required. I have been clear that future support arrangements for students studying health care related programmes should be considered alongside the changes made within the wider student support system. It is important we regularly review the funding arrangements to ensure the best value for money for taxpayers in Wales.
Today I have launched a 12 week consultation about key aspects of the current support arrangements for health care students. This consultation provides an opportunity to capture comments, observations and ideas from a wide range of individuals and organisations. These views will help inform decisions about the shape of support arrangements for health care students in the future.