Sight loss sector charities are calling for people to support the creation of a new rehabilitation worker standard which will benefit blind and partially sighted people.
A project group, including RNIB, Guide Dogs, Birmingham City University and VISION 2020 UK have submitted an expression of interest for the creation of a new apprenticeship which will allow visual rehabilitation workers to enter the profession via an apprenticeship route.
An online government survey is live and is open for a two-week period. The closing date for completing the survey is Friday 10 June. Feedback from the survey will contribute to whether the apprenticeship standard is taken forward and so feedback and support is valuable at this stage.
The project group, chaired by Guide Dogs, is made up of a number of charities and 10 sight loss and eye health sector employers.
Andrew Dodgson, Head of mobility services at Guide Dogs, said: “The sight loss sector has suffered for many years from a shortage of qualified rehabilitation workers. More recently we have also seen a decline in the number of organisations offering training.
“To meet the increasing demands on the rehab sector from an aging population, we will need not only a larger workforce but an incentive for employers and trainees to enter the profession. The Trailblazer apprenticeship will offer exactly this as it’ll allow employers to access funds to support staff development, training, and will ultimately enable people with sight loss to receive the services they need.”
To show your support for the creation of the visual rehabilitation worker standard, please complete the survey before Friday 10 June. Be sure to select the 'Rehabilitation Worker (Visual Impairment)' option when selecting which survey to complete.