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Great stories from NHS Trusts

accredited with Fair Train 

Spring 2019

1st. April 2019

Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust

Over the past year Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust's Talent for Care team has held the following workshops: 3 about Psychology; 2 about Nursing, including Mental Health and Learning Disability; 1 about Allied Health Professionals; and

1 about Administration/Non-clinical. These workshops have given opportunities to over 300 school students aged 15+ within Coventry and Warwickshire. These workshops are led by teams within the specific job roles and give the students first hand understanding of these careers.

Its NHS Ambassadors have attended many school career fairs around Coventry and Warwickshire where they have career discussions with students in their own environment. These fairs are always well received, especially if staff go armed with free gifts. They also attend “Mock Interview Days” where they support the students with interview advice and support.


Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust has run three Employability Programmes in conjunction with The Prince’s Trust, running training sessions and offering 8 days' work experience with various departments around the NHS Trust. These programmes have been a great way for young people to learn and gain new skills, as well as get a taste of working within mental health or learning disabilities. The Board and Staff at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust are extremely supportive of its work with The Prince’s Trust and take enormous pride in watching young people grow into roles across the Trust. Many have gained Apprenticeships and substantive roles with Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust which really does enable it to “Grow their Own”.

James Paget University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Peter initially participated in our Work Experience programme as a year 10 student back in 2017. He spent a week with our Domestics Team in Accident and Emergency, where he really enjoyed finding out about the functions of the busy department from the perspective of the Domestics Team.

At the time of his first placement, Peter had aspirations to be a Paramedic in the future, and during his placement within A&E he was given the opportunity to speak to a few of our Paramedics who gave him information on how they gained their own positions, and advised Peter on the next steps to take in the future.

Now, Peter is studying towards a Health and Social Care qualification and has undertaken a second placement with the Trust, again with the Domestics Team. During his second placement Peter has been to new areas around the hospital and has learned about the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and how Domestic Services need to be adapted in different wards and settings within the hospital.


What’s next for Peter?

Peter has spoken to the Apprenticeship and Work Experience Team at the James Paget University Hospital and has been given guidance on how he can apply for Apprenticeships and job vacancies within the Trust. Peter hopes to become an Apprentice Health Care Assistant or Domestic Assistant to gain the entry level experience that he will need to be a Paramedic in the future.

Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust

Teen healthcare careers fair inspires next generation

Over one hundred young people attended a Careers Fair at the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust (RUH) on Wednesday 6th. March, coinciding with National Apprenticeship Week 2019.

The fully-booked event was hosted by the RUH and highlighted the wide range of exciting careers available in the NHS. Students in year 10 and above from local schools and colleges were invited to meet staff, learn about working life at the hospital and have a go at some hands-on activities.

The Trust's Widening Participation team, who work with local schools, colleges and their students, were on hand to give careers advice and information on apprenticeships, work experience and volunteering opportunities available at the RUH.

During the evening, pupils had the chance to take part in a variety of hands-on activities and observe live demos including suturing (stitching) of wounds on artificial training limbs with our Medical Students, looking at histology samples through microscopes with our Healthcare Scientists, trying their hand at digital dictation with our Medical Secretaries and wiring a plug with our Estates Team.

As one of the largest employers in the region, the RUH is committed to highlighting the many opportunities available to young people, both within the Trust and the wider NHS. The event was supported by staff from the University of the West of England, Bath University and Project Search.

RUH healthcare science day for students

Local school students in Year 10 and 11 had the chance to experience some hands-on scientific activities – and consider a career in the NHS – during an interactive Healthcare Science Week workshop on Thursday 14th. March 2019 at the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust.

Healthcare Science Week is held annually to celebrate the important work of healthcare scientists. It provides an opportunity to raise awareness among young people studying at local schools and colleges of the wide variety of careers available at the RUH, and to inspire the NHS scientific workforce of the future.

Activities on the day included exploring how advanced computer software is used by the Radiotherapy Physics team to plan radiotherapy treatment for cancer patients; examining different tissue samples under a microscope with biomedical scientists from the Haematology and Histology Departments; and using an ultrasound probe with our vascular scientists to image and assess blood flow in a 'volunteer' patient. There was also the chance to learn from staff from seven other different healthcare science specialties.

Healthcare scientists help prevent, diagnose and treat illness using their knowledge of science and their technical skills. They use their expertise to help save lives and improve patient care in a supporting role or in direct contact with patients. They work in four main areas - life sciences, physiological sciences, physical sciences and biomechanical engineering and bioinformatics.

The RUH employs over 300 healthcare scientists in a diverse range of specialisms and roles. There are various training routes available to those interested in working in the field including apprenticeships, a healthcare science degree or the NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP) after

graduating with an appropriate science degree.

For more info about apprenticeships, work experience and volunteering at the RUH, please visit our website

Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust

Case Study 1

Case Study 1 began his journey as a NHS Trust Volunteer. As an ex-service user he used his personal experiences and struggles to help others. He began his Traineeship whilst undertaking a ‘Helping Skills’ Level 2 qualification via a local education provider. After nine months an Apprenticeship was advertised for an Apprentice Healthcare Support Worker and upon application and recruitment process, he was appointed to this role. 

Case Study 1 is progressing every day and is an extremely valued member of the team.

Person’s own words

‘I was in a vicious cycle of waking up in a police cell or hospital bed and not knowing what had happened to me. I’ve been sober for around seven years now and became sober after suffering a severe head injury as a result of drinking too much alcohol. It saw me have 68 pins put into my head and it took a long time to recovery. I was depressed and agoraphobic and alcohol fed into this. I struggled to feel comfortable around family and even having people stand behind me a shop. I eventually decided to go to AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and started a 12-step programme which help me to give up. Since then I’ve been able to start getting my life back on track. I started volunteering and I feel really strongly about helping people to achieve some of what I have. I’ve worked with the homeless and alcoholics, people just like me who are waking up in hospital and not know how they got there. I can give them hope. I’ve worked with the homeless and alcoholics, people just like me who are waking up in hospital and not know how they got there. I can give them hope. I would have never imagined that I would be doing that few years ago. I now have a career and a really meaningful one and that is something I never thought I would have’.


Case Study 2

Case Study 2 was initially referred to the Employability Hub via a local education provider for a Work Experience placement. She completed her placement on one of the wards at the General Hospital and received outstanding feedback from the Ward Sister. Following her placement she decided that she would definitely like to pursue a career in Healthcare. With needing a little bit of extra support, Case Study 2 started a Traineeship at another Hospital to help her gain confidence and build her skills and clinical knowledge. She was a hit with the patients and we received positive feedback about her on multiple occasions. Whilst on her Traineeship she completed her Level 2 and 3 Health and Social Care Diploma and upon completing her Traineeship was successful in securing a fully paid permanent Band 2 Healthcare Assistant Role within the Trust.


Person’s own words

‘My Traineeship open up new opportunities and has given me the confidence to pursue this career pathway and will hopefully enable me to continue on the pathway to nursing. My career goal is to become a Registered Nurse.  I am really enjoying working as a HCA and see myself staying with the NHS for the foreseeable future’.


Case Study 3

Case Study 3 came through to the Employability Hub via our Aspire programme that we run at our Hospital in partnership with a local education provider. Aspire offers 12 month internships for young people with a learning disability. This is made up of a City & Guilds qualification in Employability and Personal Development, accompanied by three, 10-week rotations in three different departments over an academic year. The students begin and end each day in an on-site classroom to assess how their day has gone and learn other communication, problem-solving and job skills. The teaching is provided by qualified tutors from the local education provider. In between classroom lessons, they work as a member of staff undertaking tasks in different departments, supported by a member of the ASPIRE team. The end goal for each student is to achieve competitive employment either within the Trust or elsewhere in the community using the skills they have acquired. Case Study 3 went onto to successfully complete a 12 month Traineeship within the Portering Department. Despite it being a predominately male dominated area of the hospital, this didn’t faze her at all and she went on to become a much valued member of the team. Case Study 3 has since successfully secured a permanent role as a Porter and loves her job.

Quote from Aspire Tutor:

‘Case Study 3 now has a permanent role in Portering working Monday to Friday 10am – 6pm. After thoroughly enjoying and excelling on the Aspire programme, she built up her confidence and has learnt lots of new skills and is proud of what she has achieved so far, as are we! Case Study 3 is a great example of how the Aspire and Traineeships programme can support young people with a learning disability to fulfil their potential and be a valued member of the team.’

West London NHS Trust

Work Experience for people with learning disabilities through Project Choice


West London NHS Trust is keen to recruit its workforce from the local population and to support people who may find it challenging to gain access to the workplace, such as those with a learning disability. Currently, less than 7% of adults with learning disabilities are in paid employment and young people have very limited options when leaving education. They face many barriers in entering the workplace and their potential to employers has been relatively unknown. 

Accredited by Fair Train at Gold level, the Trust were already providing high-quality work experience to mainstream schools and so this enabled the Trust to offer students with learning disabilities too through an HEE initiative, Project Choice. With the support of Ealing Council and West London Alliance, the Trust were introduced to Belvue College that has been excellent in working with the trust to provide a number of students that would like the opportunity to gain skills through work experience at West London NHS Trust.  

The Project Choice Lead has enabled the Trust to work with managers to find appropriate placements and link individual students to those roles that best fit their skills and strengths. It has trained approximately 25 trust staff as mentors to accommodate such placements and to date, the Trust has provided 14 placement opportunities ranging from; Admin Support, Library Assistant, Goods In Porter, Receptionist, Contact Centre support, Finance and more.

Amanda Griffiths from West London Alliance said "The West London Alliance is delighted to be working in a partnership with the West London NHS Trust, Belvue College, Health Education England and Ealing Council to establish West London's first preparation for employment programme for students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) starting with students at school right through to working in jobs in the Trust and the sector."

"When provided with the right support young people can work successfully in a range of different jobs from entry level jobs to jobs with complex requirements. Employers report that they are loyal and dedicated employees who also have a really positive impact on patient and employee satisfaction. Achieving paid employment not only brings young people financial independence, but it can be key to building confidence and self-esteem, increasing health and well-being, and to gaining friendships and a social life."

"The Project Choice partnership with West London NHS Trust will be the first of its kind in West London where young people will be able start the pathway to employment with structured work experience placements across a range of departments leading on to further training in the supported internship phase and then move in to paid jobs in the Trust and sector." 

“This is a ground breaking approach to vocational skills training for this group of young people which we believe will lead to life changing outcomes for our residents and their families and could be rolled out across the sector after a successful pilot at West London NHS Trust."

Success stories

 Aaron, a learner on one of these placements, said “I have been working in the CAHMS team doing administration and collecting post from Ealing Hospital. “This Trust is awesome and cool and I like everything about working here. “Doing work experience gives me more experience of life in general and has given me much more confidence. When I am a bit older I want to be a gardener at St Bernard’s Hospital. I want to be a horticulturalist. I like everything about working at this Trust. It’s wicked.”

Munge is from Hayes, he has moderate learning difficulties, and works in Estates and Facilities with the maintenance team. He said: “This really builds up my confidence and it also helps me to think of what I want to do next with my career. I’d like to get a job in construction or engineering. The staff here are all really nice and helpful to me and it’s always a lot of fun. I constantly learn new things.”

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