The Shortage of Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP)

We are currently facing a crisis where there is a shortage of Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) in the industry. Local authority budgeting issues, government funding, lack of qualified professionals and the end of the pandemic has played a part in the scarcity of EHPs in the UK, leading to a detrimental effect on the public’s health and wellbeing.

“Given the relatively high numbers of unfilled posts and use of agency workers to fill gaps in the service, training future recruits should be a key priority to ensure a steady supply of skilled, qualified and experienced practitioners in the future. At the moment, there are not enough students graduating from environmental health degrees to meet demand and not enough local authorities able to take on environmental health trainees and apprentices, in order to help graduates gain the vital practical experience and become fully qualified practitioners.” ~ Dr Phil James, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH)

While there has been a steady increase in Environmental Health (EH) vacancies, there has been a majority of EHPs who are usually not fully qualified – a person with a Environmental Health Degree and a completion of their Practical and Professional Assessment. According to the CIEH Workforce Survey, data in 2020 has shown that there are an average of around 4100 FTEs (Full Time Employed) Environmental Health Practitioners in Local Authorities in England who are not fully qualified.

69% – Difficulty recruiting officers with required qualification

66% – Not having any budget for trainees

56% – Local authorities reported that they had vacancies in their environmental health teams that were left unfilled for six months or more

52% – Not having capacity to mentor them

20% – No trainees were taken because there was no demand from students

Source: Data from the CIEH Workforce Survey 2020

The Future of Environmental Health Practitioners

Ketan, Buckingham Futures along with the CIEH decided there needed to be a new pathway for students in Environmental Health to get relevant experience in the industry.

“Providing training opportunities is a very practical way of helping, as well as a good way of meeting lots of new entrants to the profession and maybe identifying an ideal candidate for an opportunity that you might have available. There is value in it for everyone, and a genuine win-win for students, employers and the future of the Environmental Health profession.”

Ketan Dattani ~ CEO of Buckingham Futures

During our collaboration with CIEH (Chartered Institute of Environmental Health) to host the CIEH’s Graduation Ceremony 2022, Ketan noticed that there had been a significant increase of EH graduates becoming fully qualified compared to previous years. Our aim is to start spreading awareness of the Environmental Health sector and ways we can contribute to protecting our environment, before it’s too late!

Next Issue

Buckingham Futures’ partnership with the CIEH to create the DSTO (Directory of Student Training Opportunities) started in 2022, we are helping to provide opportunities for Environmental Health graduates and kickstart their careers. We will go into more detail about the DSTO in our next issue!

Nick Cheung ~ Marketing Executive

Buckingham Futures HQ

We are dedicated to providing our exceptional recruitment and consultancy services to you. With our team of specialist recruitment consultants, they will be able to assist you in your queries and job hunt.

Give us a call on 020 8125 4321 or email your CV to and let’s have a chat!

Recruiting the Present, Inspiring the Future.” ~ Buckingham Futures

#environmentalhealth #environmentalhealthrecruitment #weareenvironmentalhealth #ChooseEnvironmentalHealth #IamEnvironmentalHealth

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