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CRN Greater Manchester core team blog series: The Workforce Learning and Development Team

Workforce header

The Workforce, Learning and Development Team are responsible for influencing, engaging and developing a skilled workforce to deliver high quality health and social care research across the North West. When we talk about the workforce, we don’t just mean our CRN Core Team but also the wider research delivery teams across our partner organisations.

Our team consists of:

  • Mary Speake, Workforce Learning and Development Lead
  • Seonaid Beddows, Workforce Learning and Development Manager
  • Martin Occleston, Learning Technologist
  • Grace Oyewale, Workforce  Learning and Development Administrator
  • Ben Bayman, Workforce Learning and Development Administrator

It was the first team to start operating across both CRN Greater Manchester and North West Coast, as of April 2021 and from October 2022, we also picked up the PPIE function for CRN Greater Manchester too.

The Workforce Profile Survey

Did you know each year we ask each of our partner organisations to complete a Future Workforce Profile Survey?

Each organisation tells where they have gaps, who they need to recruit, whether they feel the need to create new roles, the workforce challenges they anticipate in the coming year and how they plan to develop their colleagues throughout the year. It’s also an opportunity for them to share any success stories about overcoming these challenges, so we’re able to share these across the region to ensure all of our partner organisations can benefit.

This information allows us to understand trends in workforce planning so that we can support Partner Organisations where needed and also to plan corresponding learning opportunities and development programmes to ensure our workforce has the support they need (particularly as a new starter), and that we have a steady pipeline of researchers for the future.

The Workforce Wheel

Once we have the insights about what our regional research workforce needs, we then use the workforce model below to plan opportunities around the life-cycle of our colleagues within their roles.

That might be supporting line managers to deliver research specific inductions, bringing colleagues in line with the skills and knowledge they’ll need in the role. It also supports their growth and development by facilitating networking opportunities, peer learning via communities of practice, facilitating researcher development programmes and also identifying colleagues who want to share their expertise by developing facilitators for our courses.

We’ll be back over the next few weeks with updates on our training offer and what is happening in the PPIE space but until then don’t forget to bookmark our Workforce website and follow the NW Workforce Twitter page.

You can also email us via the team inbox -

The North West Workforce, Learning and Development Team

September 2023

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.