Shaking up and sorting out your work experience programmes

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05 / 11 / 2015 3.17pm

Liz Faulkner, workforce transformation manager at Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust tells us how the workforce transformation team is shaking up and sorting out work experience programmes in the trust. 

The workforce transformation team has taken responsibility for work experience programmes for the trust. We took over the coordination of work experience from the training and development team in June, having agreed that this area of work sits better under our remit. The training and development team had already done a lot of work to shape the work experience programmes, but there was still more to be done. 

A lot of the requests we get for work experience are referred by staff, and whilst this is great, we often ask ourselves if these people want work experience specifically in the NHS. Our team leads on Widening Participation and Talent for Care, and is committed to providing job opportunities for local people, including those from socially deprived backgrounds, who might not have the advantage of knowing someone in the trust. We also want to attract young people to work experience placements who may not previously have considered a career in the NHS. It’s these people that we want to reach with our work experience programmes and offer opportunities to. 

Moving the work to our team has been a big change, and at the moment we’re just about keeping tabs on the number of placement requests we get. This is proving difficult, as teams within the trust often decide amongst themselves if they are taking someone on, and when we get requests from individuals or schools they tend to be at short notice. 

We know that we need to get a more proactive plan in place to manage the requests coming in and develop a fair way of placing the work experience opportunities, so, that is what we’re starting off with, and before christmas our plan is to:

  • send a questionnaire to all managers to see who’s doing working experience in their departments
  • find out what work experience managers/departments can offer moving forward and for what length of time
  • draft a new policy for work experience by christmas. 

We will be keeping in touch with NHS Employers as we get our reviewed work experience programme under way. Watch this space for an update on how we’re getting on.

Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust will be writing regular blogs on their progress to reform their work experience programmes. If you would like to share your organisation’s story of how they are working towards bringing more young people in, then contact the ThinkFuture team at ThinkFuture@nhsemployers.org 

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