Public Health Online Resource for Careers, Skills and Training

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What is PHORCaST?

PHORCaST stands for "Public Health Online Resource for Careers, Skills and Training".

The PHORCaST website has been created to help recruit, retain and develop the careers of people working in public health (including health and wellbeing) at all levels, and working in all sectors. It provides people and organisations with a wide-ranging source of information about roles and careers in public health, and it provides advice about how to assess your current position and how you might develop your skills and knowledge through education and training.

PHORCaST is a UK-wide initiative, funded by the Department of Health in England, and the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Why is PHORCaST needed? 

We face a challenging public health agenda which is a concern for us all: 

  • smoking
  • obesity
  • harmful or hazardous drinking
  • sexually transmitted diseases
  • threats of infection, such as food poisoning, hospital infections or flu
  • health risks at work and in the home
  • waste and pollution that are having an impact on our environment and the climate and adversely affecting health

To address issues such as the above, we need to get the "brightest and best" into public health, to attract school leavers, to develop the skills of those already working in public health, and to retain the public health workforce. In order to help with this, the PHORCaST website was considered a crucial need, since it could:

  • Provide  one place with information on:

    Public health – what it is and what it involves
    The breadth of public health career opportunities (there are only websites or web pages for individual roles)
    Training and education opportunities in public health

  • Help people to get started in public health

    We need to help people find out about roles, jobs, applying for jobs, and developing themselves.

  • Help people to develop in their roles, to become confident, competent, and satisfied

    This might help to address issues of retention that exist in some parts of the UK.

The PHORCaST website aims to raise awareness of the many and varied roles that are available in public health, and to give clear advice on how you can enter public health or improve public health knowledge and skills in your current role.

Who is PHORCaST for?

PHORCaST is for you if you are interested in health and wellbeing issues. You will find useful information here if your current role only has a public health element or if you have a specific public health role, at any level (from volunteers to senior management), and in any sector (the NHS, in local government or in the independent sector).

Public health is everybody’s concern, and many people have a public health aspect to their role even if they may not have realised it. If you would like to improve your skill or knowledge in public health (whether to help with a particular aspect of your current role, or to move into public health as a career), PHORCaST is for you.

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