Hospital trust's training scheme helping unemployed into work

An innovative training scheme developed by education bosses at Southampton’s teaching hospitals has helped more than 35 unemployed people into full-time work.

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust’s pre-employment training (PET) programme – a joint venture with Jobcentre Plus and local colleges – aims to better equip people with the skills they need in the workplace.

The two-week programme gives people general advice and guidance on creating and updating CVs, understanding customer service, support in applying for jobs in the NHS and computer literacy.

On completion of the PET programme, attendees can apply for a one-year contract and may be offered the opportunity to return for a longer placement or to take up a volunteering role with the possibility of a full-time position.

And, since 2010, UHS has recruited 37 of them on healthcare, pharmacy, business administration, customer service and support service apprenticeships, with 15 of them employed permanently after a year.

“We are working extremely hard to ensure we open as many doors as possible at a time many people, from college leavers to those in their 40s and 50s, are having difficulty finding the right employment,” said Kasia Miadowicz, widening participation in training manager at UHS.

“Although we don’t guarantee jobs, we help people learn new skills and dedicate time to volunteering to give them the best chance of finding work but, if they are able to demonstrate desire and determination to succeed, the possibility of a route into employment with us directly.”

The apprenticeship scheme is part of an extensive further education programme for staff at UHS, which includes diplomas in healthcare, business administration and customer service, a foundation degree in health and social care and a range of courses to help clinical support staff progress into nursing roles.

Kasia, speaking during Adult Learners’ Week, added: “While we are dedicated to helping prepare and support people looking for employment, we are also extremely passionate about offering staff the chance to further their careers and we continue to expand the range of courses available.” 

Posted on Tuesday 15 May 2012