Get Britain Working


10 / 9 / 2015 Midnight

Long-term unemployment is damaging to individuals and communities, it affects mental and physical health, and holds back economic growth. In 2011, the government introduced Get Britain Working with the aim of helping people to find and stay in work, whilst making sure that work pays.

NHS Employers encourages organisations within the NHS to work in partnership with Jobcentre Plus (JCP) and participate in some of the key Get Britain Working initiatives, which can offer cost savings and help to create a skilled and motivated workforce.

Below we have listed some of the key initiatives available under Get Britain Working that you may wish to consider:

Sector-based work academies

JCP have developed sector-based work academies which offer pre-employment training, work placements and guaranteed interviews in sectors with high local vacancies. 

JCP work in collaboration with NHS organisations and can provide relevant statutory and mandatory training at no cost to the NHS. They also observe potential employees during placements and can help find the right people with the necessary skills. 

For more information read the Employers guide to sector-based work academies or visit our case studies library, which has examples of trusts who have benefited from this approach.

Youth Contract

To help tackle youth unemployment the Government announced a £1billion Youth Contract to help unemployed young people find work. Launched in April 2012, the three-year programme will provide nearly half a million new opportunities for 18-24 year olds, including apprenticeships and voluntary work experience placements. Read more about what the Youth Contract means for employers on our webpage.

A key element of the Youth Contract is the provision of work experience - further details are highlighted below: 

Work experience 

Work experience is a vital part of the transition from education into work and is an important and affordable investment in the quality of our future workforce. Over the next three years the government wants to ensure there is an offer of a work experience place for every 18 to 24 year-old.  

Typically placements last between 2-8 weeks, with the help of JCP are easy to set up, and have no financial outlay. Whilst there is no obligation to employ candidates at the end of the placement, work experience can often help identify individuals that are a good fit for your organisation and can assist with a values-driven approach to recruitment


Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes designed around the needs of employers, which lead to nationally recognised qualifications. Building apprenticeship programmes within the NHS can be a cost effective means of creating a skilled, flexible and motivated workforce.  

The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) supports, funds and co-ordinates apprenticeships throughout the UK. JCP works as a partner organisation, has access to a dedicated NAS apprenticeship portal, and can help search for suitable apprenticeship opportunities. JCP also have strong links with local training providers and can offer advice on these matters.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of using apprenticeship programmes across the NHS you can view our dedicated webpages.

Sifting applications for high volume campaigns

Your local JCP may be able to offer an application sifting service, which can help you shorten recruitment timescales and reduce recruitment costs, particularly in instances of recruiting to vacancies that attract a high volume of applications. They may also be able to assist with numeracy and literacy testing and offer support with running assessment centres. If you would like to learn more about how this approach has benefited the NHS, please view our case study library which has examples of best practice in this area. 

Other specialist help 

A number of other schemes are available which provide support to those who may have a disability, health or mental health condition: 

Work Choice – a specialist disability employment programme provides tailored support to help disabled people who have the most complex support needs. 

An Access to Work grant is also available and can contribute towards additional costs, such as specialist equipment for disabled employees - click here to find out more about the main elements of Access to Work.

Next steps 

If you are interested in making links with your local JCP please contact for more information. 

Further reading 

In January 2015, The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) released a new factsheet, Skills policy in the UK, which helps to explain what is meant by ‘skills’ and why they are important for employers. This resource is free to both CIPD and non-CIPD members alike and can be accessed via this link.   

For organisations, skills are vital to meeting both current and future business demands. To be successful and competitive, businesses must ensure their talent and succession planning takes into consideration what skills need to be sourced, nurtured and developed now, in order to create successful and productive workforces of the future. 

This resource looks at ways of achieving this by helping organisations learn about:

  • the current skills situation in the UK
  • the nature and key aims of the UK’s skills policy
  • national developments 
  • CIPD viewpoint
  • useful contacts
  • references
  • further reading.


Latest Tweets

Why Register?

Great reasons to register with NHS Employers

  • A personalised website
    Manage your profile and select topics of interest to you
  • Access your dashboard
    Bookmark useful content to help you quickly find what you're looking for
  • Get involved
    Contribute to our Talking Points discussions, comment on and rate our webpages
  • Keep up to date
    Receive the latest newsletters and media summaries

Sounds great, what next?

Register Now

Not now, I will register later

Log In