The initial onset of the COVID-19 pandemic saw a dire need for skilled, highly trained healthcare workers. While there was an increase in healthcare jobs last summer, there has been a significant decrease in recent openings which could be attributable to the fact that the vaccine rollout has begun to reduce cases and hospitalization rates. However, a shortage remains in vital middle skilled and support positions. The current lack of qualified applicants for these jobs is adding continued stress on healthcare facilities and resulting in diminished patient care.
The impacts of the pandemic on the workforce are likely to be evident for some time to come, but utilizing education and job training to upskill displaced, or emerging, workers into healthcare positions can ease the burden the country is currently experiencing. Instead of workers pursuing new, often lengthy educational avenues, a learn-and-earn model can play a vital role in filling in-demand positions, while engaging the economy through gainful apprenticeships and vocational training.