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Future's bright for NHS recruits

Future’s bright for NHS recruits

20 April 2023

A popular programme designed to get people working for the NHS is looking to double its numbers after demand exceeded the number of places by five times.

The Steps into Health programme – run by the City of Wolverhampton College in partnership with The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) and Jobcentre Plus – aims to overcome barriers to employment by enabling people to develop a range of skills, get support in applying for jobs, and help with preparing for an interview.

Latest News: Future’s bright for NHS recruits - Tapiwa Hakutangwi
Tapiwa Hakutangwi

The free five-week course also includes a work placement to give people the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in an NHS setting, and a guaranteed interview with the Trust’s NHS Futures team for those who successfully complete the course.

Of 14 who have completed the programme to date, one gained a permanent part-time role and 12 were recommended for the Trust’s temporary staffing bank, which enables them to book shifts and work across different departments requiring administrative support. Tapiwa Hakutangwi, 39, was offered a part-time post as a Ward Clerk at West Park Hospital.

Sallie Johnson, NHS Futures Manager at RWT, told Wolverhampton Community Radio: “It was so hard to select because there were so many people we could have put on the programme, which is why we’re trying to introduce more places on our next one.

“We took 12 and we’re looking to accept 25 next time. Fingers crossed we can give more people that opportunity to get paid employment within the NHS.”

Lorna Prosser, Curriculum Manager, Adults Community Employability & ESOL, City of Wolverhampton College, said: “We had in excess of 60 self-referrals and at the information access stage we had more than 50 people.”

The programme aims to equip those who might have been out of the workplace for a while with the ‘soft skills’ to hopefully boost their confidence and get on the employment ladder.

Latest News: Future’s bright for NHS recruits - Sallie Johnson
Sallie Johnson

Sallie added: “We give them that little bit of extra support they wouldn’t necessarily get if they had come for an interview. For example, some were really daunted by answering the phone, but within two or three days, they were doing it. 

“The difference was shown at the end of the programme. We had a celebration event in a room full of 20-30 people and each got up and told their story. It stands them in really good stead for anything they will do.”

Sallie helps anyone from 14-year-olds seeking their first taste of work experience to the long-term unemployed and those seeking a career change.

“I feel extremely privileged because I get to work with people of 14 upwards who are really excited about which direction their career is going to take to young adults and older adults who don’t know what they’re going to do next,” she said.

“At 14 we bring them into a classroom/interactive clinical suite and they explore various roles. We have laparoscopy (an operation in the abdomen or pelvis aided by a camera) kits and people can remove gunshot pellets from the abdomen, birth and simulation kits, blood pressure monitors and observation machines, so young people can see what it’s like to work for the NHS.

“We have over 350 jobs in the NHS, so how do you know what you want to do unless you know it exists?”

Starting in the summer, the next programme will target Healthcare Assistants, Porters, Imaging Assistants and Healthcare Science staff. 

Anyone interested in the programme should email rwh-tr.nhsfutures@nhs.net or employability@wolv.ac.uk or call City of Wolverhampton College on 01902 317710.

Notes to Editors

  • For more information, please contact Tim Nash on 07714 741097 or email   tim.nash2@nhs.net
Press release issued by the Communications team. For more information contact the team on 01902 695884
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