Reflecting on a job well done  

Liz Faulkner

22 / 3 / 2016 10.30am

In her fourth and final blog Liz Faulkner, workforce transformation manager at Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust and her team reflect on how much progress they've made rejuvenating their work experience programme.

We started blogging with NHS Employers five months ago, and this is our final blog, on work experience at least! It’s really great to look back over the past few months and see how far we've come and what we've achieved in such a short space of time with our work experience programme. I would thoroughly recommend taking time to reflect on projects you’re working on in your trusts, to remind yourselves how much you achieve every day.

In my previous blog I shared what activities we were focusing on, including:

  • continuing to update and improve the work experience policy and processes
  • promoting Talent for Care month 
  • hosting pre-employment placements.
The work experience policy has been on the back burner a little bit as other areas of the work experience programme have been taking shape. This is not a major concern as we’re still making headway and aim to have the policy updated by June.

Talent for Care month has been our big area of focus in March. We kicked off the month by promoting the #NHSwhereIstarted campaign, which aims to encourage staff, HR directors and the wider NHS community to engage in and inspire public conversations around employing young people. Great initiative ThinkFuture! We got our directors and other members of staff to dig out old pictures of when they started in the NHS, and share quotes about how work experience, apprenticeships and other non-traditional routes helped them to get started in their careers. We also took the opportunity to update our work experience internet and intranet web pages too, as we knew that we’d be seeing more traffic due to the promotion of Talent for Care month.

We also hosted three (of seven) pre-employment placements in partnership with Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust and the Prince’s Trust. A variety of placements were offered across the trust, including in community hospitals, minor injuries, and a respite unit for adults and children with moderate to severe learning disabilities. Feedback from trainees indicated the placements were a really positive experience, with all trainees stating they wanted to go on to a career in healthcare. One trainee has expressed an interest in volunteering at the trust, and another trainee has decided to apply to a NHS Professionals care development support programme at the trust. For trainees who aren’t quite ready to go into a band two role, this is a six month paid placement which offers them the opportunity to complete the care certificate as part of the training.

We put a lot of time and effort into making the pre-employment placements a success. We are currently evaluating the programme, and we plan to run the initiative again next year, with the intention of putting more people through the programme.

It’s really great to see that the work we’re doing is worthwhile, and is starting to be recognised both internally and externally. Last month we were highly commended in two categories at our regional Health Education England apprenticeship awards.

What’s next for us?

  • we will continue to streamline and review work experience policy, making sure that we have a structured process which produces data to support evaluation and measure success. 
  • we will build on the success of the Talent for Care month, keeping the recruitment of young people high on our trusts agenda. 
Have a happy Easter and remember it’s time to ThinkFuture and bring more young people into the NHS workforce.

Thank you to Liz for sharing how her organisation has implemented change. If you would like to share your organisation’s story of working towards bringing more young people into your organisation, contact the ThinkFuture team at

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