“Although there are over 41,000 occupational therapists, across the UK there is still a significant shortage, and the profession is included on the UK’s Shortage Occupations List” – College of Paramedics.
The aim of our blog this month is to raise awareness of the shortage of Occupational Therapists and what that means for people with special educational needs. The shortage of Occupational Therapists within the UK has now got so bad, that people are having to wait on lists for a year or more before they receive the help that they need.
Family and friends are struggling to support their loved ones and no amount of money can solve their problems as the shortage of Occupational Therapists extends to both the public and private sectors. The industry is severely lacking trained and experienced staff, and this shortage is understandably leaving people in a state of panic, struggling to get by is now a daily reality for many.
So, the question in deliberation is why are there so many Occupational Therapist roles with no takers for the positions?
Reasons why positions aren’t being filled?
- Universities in expensive living areas – The high cost of living and unaffordable housing, is putting some people off studying to become an Occupational Therapist.
- Lack of Educational Premises – There seems to be a lack of universities and colleges which offer courses and training to become an Occupational Therapist.
- Lack of OT awareness – There seems to be a general need for more awareness of Occupational Therapy as a Career, and also awareness of how it in practice can change the lives of those in demand.
- The need is now – “Ultimately, the long-term solution to the workforce shortage is to train more home-grown Occupational Therapists”, Source: Royal College of Occupational Therapists, 2019. Whilst this long-term solution is positive, it needs time to succeed, and has to be met with short term solutions, such as recruiting internationally.
Benefits of being an Occupational Therapist
There are some great reasons why you should become an Occupational Therapist, and we have listed some below for you:
- Professional accreditation
- Good pay
- The chance to work with & help people
Some of the qualities expected of an occupational therapist
- Ability to problem solve
- Great observational skills
- Diagnostic experience
- Anatomical expertise
- Interpersonal skills
These are qualities and skills that you will learn from both, and expand on, during your time at University and in the workplace.
Occupational Therapist Vacancy here at Bursting with Potential
We here at Bursting with Potential aren’t unfamiliar with the current shortage of Occupational Therapists, as we are currently seeking a new Occupational Therapist to join our team:
Position: Specialist Occupational Therapist Band 6 Equivalent
Available Positions: 1-2 Positions Available.
Location: Bursting with Potential, Thorney Road, Eye, Peterborough, PE6 7UN.
Salary: Annual Salary of £30,000 pro rata.
Hours: Part Time or Full Time Considered.
Other: 5.6 weeks’ paid Holiday, inclusive of 8 days Bank Holiday Entitlement. Your Birthday off Paid. Wellbeing support and activities. Career Development and training.
You can view application submission details and more general information, here: https://www.burstingwithpotential.co.uk/specialist-occupational-therapist/
We want to hear from you
Are you an occupational therapist? Maybe you can have experienced some of the issues mentioned above and would also like to see a change in opportunities, training, and provisions for Occupational Therapists. Perhaps you struggled to find a job in your area, or maybe you had to train too far from where you live. We would love to know more about what you think of the shortages of occupational therapists in the UK let us know in the comments below.
If Occupational Therapy sounds like something you would like to do, then why not have a look at the NHS health careers website and the Royal College of Occupational Therapists below:
To find out more about occupational therapy and occupational focus, why not take a look at one of our earlier blogs ‘An Occupational Focus – What Does It Mean’ by clicking on the link below:
Are you an Occupational Therapist? Maybe you can have experienced some of the issues mentioned above and would also like to see a change in opportunities, training, and provisions for Occupational Therapists. Perhaps you struggled to find a job in your area, or maybe you had to train too far from where you live. We would love to know more about what you think of the shortages of Occupational Therapists in the UK let us know in the comments below.