1764 The role of education and training to sustain and develop an occupational health workforce for the benefit of working people

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IntroductionThe world of work in the twenty-first century presents a number of challenges to occupational health practitioners. Why should organisations invest in occupational health provision? What are the political, economic and social drivers and how will changes in technology and the environment influence the competencies and composition of future occupational health workforces? Education and training must prepare practitioners for practice that is relevant and marketable to improve the reach and efficacy of occupational health, as well as underpinning attractive careers. This talk will review work that is on-going to address these issues.MethodsConsideration of different initiatives globally, with particular reference to work in the United Kingdom regarding the development of a multidisciplinary occupational health workforce.DiscussionEducation and training must address structural differences in occupational health provision, as described in the basic occupational health services model. Future occupational health workforces will be multidisciplinary and viewed holistically as part of a public health provision. Wellbeing at work is contingent on assessing and meeting a hierarchy of workplace and organisational needs and practitioners will need the requisite competencies to meet market demands. Consideration is necessary as to how established training provision will adapt to deliver accessible, timely, affordable and effective educational resources.

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