Despite a shortage of qualified NHS staff on labour wards, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) reports that student midwives cannot find jobs. 17/11/2011
The RCM survey of 803 students found that half of student or newly qualified midwives (52%) were having difficulty finding a job and three quarters (74%) said there were not enough vacancies.
T0his is despite rising birth rates and more complex births due to older and obese mothers suggesting that 5,000 more midwives are needed.
Before the election, Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to recruit 3,000 more midwives, but the RCM has said this has now been dropped.
‘We have a demographic time bomb with an ageing midwifery population and with many midwives nearing retirement. We need to be nurturing and grooming our next generation of student midwives, as they are our profession’s lifeblood and future,’ said Cathy Warwick, general secretary of the Royal College of Midwives.
A second survey of 763 student midwives found that almost three-quarters (73%) expect to be in debt at the end of their course and more than a third left the course due to the financial burden. To ease the financial pressures take a look at our money section with advice on managing debt, saving and budgeting.
The surveys looked at aspects of student midwives’ work, morale, hopes and aspirations. Many students said that that they were being used to plug holes caused by staff shortages and worried about accumulating considerable debt.
‘We need to work together with the Department of Health to find a way for student midwives to use their education and training to get jobs as midwives. If we don’t, their education, energy, enthusiasm, and the cost of training them is going to be lost and that would be a tremendous waste of the taxpayer’s money,’ said Sue Jacob, student services adviser for the RCM.
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