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Hospital initiative gives hope to jobseekers

Hospital initiative gives hope to jobseekers

Unemployed people in the West Midlands who have been struggling to get back into work are being given the chance to begin new careers in nursing thanks to an exciting new jobs initiative.

The NHS Learning Hub, based at University Hospital Birmingham (UHB), has joined forces with employment and training experts Pertemps People Development Group (PPDG) to launch a scheme giving jobseekers opportunities to work in local hospitals.

Five have already started work and a further 12 are expected to begin their new roles soon. It is hoped that other hospitals will run similar schemes next year, offering employment opportunities to people across the West Midlands.

One of those to benefit is Gareth Edwards who has spent most of the last nine years out of work while caring for his father and his grandmother. Gareth, aged 37, from Bournville, is thrilled after recently starting work as a nursing auxiliary at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Under the Government’s new Work Programme, PPDG and the Learning Hub are staging training programmes to give local unemployed people the best possible chance of securing nursing auxiliary jobs.

PPDG clients from across the West Midlands have been attending awareness sessions to learn more about the job opportunities. Basic skills testing and an introduction to the NHS follows. A group of jobseekers is currently taking part in a one–week NHS Building Health Course (Nursing Auxillary PET/JIG).

PPDG Employer Engagement Director Nicki Lewis-Downing said: “We are really excited about this new joint initiative, working hand-in-hand with the team at the NHS Learning Hub. There is no doubt this offers a fantastic opportunity for many of our unemployed clients to gain secure and sustainable employment with the National Health Service.

“It is through the great working relationship we have all forged that our clients can now access these wonderful job opportunities. Our Harborne-based employer liaison co-ordinator Jemma Garbett is working closely with Rachel Burton, the Learning Hub manager, to deliver the initiative. It is possible that dozens of unemployed people could secure jobs at hospitals in the region as a result.”

Rachel said: “UHB is one of the largest employers within the West Midlands region and, as part of its workforce agenda, the NHS Learning Hub aims to offer a high quality training and employment service to individuals offering sustainable careers within the health care sector. The collaborative working with PPDG results in giving unemployed individuals a real & lsquo;edge’ to their chances of obtaining employment.”

The PPDG team helped Gareth during the recruitment process by creating a new CV, internet training, and motivation and confidence building. He attended the NHS awareness session and passed literacy and numeracy tests. After attending the five-day Learning Hub course he was offered a job which he began last month.

Gareth said: “Having worked as a porter previously, I knew I wanted to go back to a career with the NHS for job security. Because of the care my Nan received when she was poorly I wanted to go a step further and become a nursing auxillary. It was my way of giving something back and saying thank you for the excellent levels of care she received from the QE Hopsital.

“My advice to anyone looking to get back to work would be to speak to an advisor at Pertemps People Development Group because they all genuinely cared about my personal situation and career options. I have been with providers in the past but I have never received the level of support and guidance that PPDG in Harborne offered me and I wouldn’t be able to start work without them.”


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