Health Work Experience

The Skills Platform is collaborating with the National Skills Academy of Health, Health Education England, the Job Centre Plus and the Department for Health to develop a Work Experience portal. The initial target audience for the portal is those people Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET), though there is scope to open to all young people looking to explore a career in health care.

The aim of the project is to support employers to engage with the potential future workforce by:

  • Helping young people to understand the diverse range of career options available in the health sector.
  • Increasing the motivation and confidence of young people.
  • Supporting young people to understand and gain employability skills.

How does it work?

The process brings together various stakeholders through the Skills Platform.

Skills Platform Work Experience

The process is made up for two key stages as follows:

Stage One: Setting Up

A local trust or healthcare employer expresses an interest in joining the programme. The NSA Health and Skills Platform work with the employer to produce suitable work experience opportunities and ensure suitable mentors are available. We then link the employer with the local Job Centre Plus who are made aware of the new partner in their area. The trust can find mentor training on the Skills Platform should this be required.

The first outputs at this stage are:

  1. A 'meet the mentor' day in the diary. Where young people can explore the sort of roles available in healthcare and better understand if this opportunity is for them.
  2. Specific work experience opportunities are place in the diary for a later date. The employer can manage all dates and opportunities directly through the Skills Platform and with the assistance of the team.

The meet the mentor session is an opportunity for the employer to build relationships with the local job centre plus and for a cohort of young people to express an interest in working in health. The Skills Platform and NSA Health provide helpful hints, tips and resources for mentors to use.

Stage Two: Work Experience

After attending the meet the mentor day, the next stage is the young person working with the Job Centre Plus (JCP) to find and book on a work experience opportunity. The JCP book on behalf of the young person and walk them through the process. The trust then receives the details of the individual and the specific date book and makes the necessary arrangement. Work experience opportunities generally last two weeks, but there is a variety of options for trusts to take up.

Following the work experience opportunity, NSA Health and other stakeholders monitor the progress of the individual, with the aim of encouraging young people to explore careers in health care through apprenticeships and other opportunities.

Pilot With Royal Liverpool Hospital

We are currently undertaking a pilot with Royal Liverpool Hospital. Over 50 young people attended the meet the mentor day where they explored different opportunities within health care. Many of these individuals expressed an interest in work experience vacancies, with a number currently booked on to the program in October and November.

The National Skills Academy for Health and Skills Platform are now looking for further partners to pilot the programme across the country. If you are able and willing to participate in the development of this project either by being a pilot site or attending steering group meetings please contact Gemma Wilson (gemma.wilson@nsahealth.org.uk) and visit the platform portal at https://www.skillsplatform.org/healthworkexperience