Hospital opens doors to city's jobseekers

Southampton General Hospital

Education bosses at Southampton’s university hospitals have teamed up with Jobcentre Plus to provide unique training opportunities for people across the city.

Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust has launched a pre-employment training (PET) programme, which aims to better equip people with the skills needed to succeed in finding work.

Lasting for two weeks, the programme – being run in conjunction with training company Career Development Group – gives 16 people who have been working with Jobcentre Plus over recent weeks a chance to brush up on the basics.

They receive advice and guidance on topics including updating CVs, understanding customer service and support in applying for jobs in the NHS, while also refreshing computer literacy through sessions held at Southampton General Hospital’s cyber centre.

Training is followed by a two-day work taster within SUHT.

Anita Esser, head of wider healthcare teams education, said: “The programme enables local people to gain an insight into the workings of the Trust, while undertaking useful training and receiving advice on how to apply for jobs and be prepared for the workplace.

“Although we aren’t guaranteeing jobs to people, we offer as much advice and support as possible to give people a better chance of succeeding and to show they have been willing to give up their time to better their CVs.”

Rachel Hawkins, Jobcentre Plus partnerships manager in Southampton, added: "Jobcentre Plus is delighted to be working with the one of the largest employers in the area to help people gain the accredited skills they need to compete for jobs at the hospital.

“Pre-employment training is just one a range of Jobcentre Plus services we can offer to help people get back to work – especially if they want to work in a different sector to the ones they have previously worked in."

On completion of a PET programme, attendees may be given the opportunity to return for a longer placement or take up a volunteering role to enhance their appeal to employers.

Following a recent successful pilot of the project, another programme will take place in November and will then be introduced approximately every six weeks.

Posted on Thursday 24 September 2009