With its reach into communities, The Prince’s Trust can support you to recruit, train and mentor young people entering your workforce. This business case and accompanying PowerPoint will help you to present the case for supporting a partnership with The Prince’s Trust to board members and senior leaders. It highlights the key benefits employing young people will bring to your organisation as part of a long-term strategic approach to workforce planning.
The national landscape
The NHS People Plan contains a commitment to grow the workforce for the future. It asks employers to overhaul recruitment and promotion practices to make sure that staffing reflects the diversity of their communities, and regional and national labour markets. It also asks employers to increase recruitment to roles such as clinical support workers, promote potential career pathways and offer more apprenticeships at all levels. At a local level, organisations must take action to support these national asks.
Key challenges for the NHS workforce
- The NHS has a shortage of over 105,000 staff, with 38,000 vacancies in nursing.
- 6 per cent of the NHS workforce is under 25, 48 per cent is over 45.
- Youth unemployment rate (aged 16 to 24) is 10.8 per cent, compared to an unemployment rate of 3.8 per cent for the whole population.
21 per cent of NHS staff are from a black and minority ethnic (BME) background.
20 per cent of agenda for change staff (band 2-4) are male.
An estimated 229,000 young people were not in education, employment or training (NEET) and unemployed (May 2022).
How The Prince's Trust can help
- The Prince's Trust health and social care programme has been running since 2020 and prepares young people aged 16-30 to find jobs in the health and care sector.
- Programmes are fully funded and can help you to recruit a diverse workforce and develop a pipeline of motivated, skilled, local young people into entry-level roles and apprenticeships.
- Promoting career pathways and apprenticeships in your organisation can help to retain this workforce and support local economic recovery and growth.
- Of the young people participating on Prince's Trust programmes:
- 37 per cent are from a black and minority ethnic (BME) background
- 25 per cent are male
- 25 per cent are from the most deprived neighbourhoods in England.
Benefits of employing young people
Shape your future workforce
- Recruiting and investing in young people now will help tackle the issue of the ageing workforce in the NHS as older workers can transfer their knowledge and skills to younger recruits.
- Prince’s Trust pre-employment programmes can be tailored to meet the needs of each trust. Using their support to inclusively recruit young people based on what you need now will ensure they have the necessary skills and values needed for the future.
- Investing in young people brings returns in commitment and loyalty. Nurturing young people’s talent will motivate and engage them even further and will help to maintain productivity and reduce future recruitment costs.
Recruit a more diverse workforce
- Employing young people can enhance your reputation as an employer with strong community links and boost your public profile as an ‘employer of choice’. A good reputation will attract talent from all communities, helping to meet the needs of the community you serve.
- Adapting recruitment processes to engage underrepresented groups in your workforce will widen your talent pool. Long-term investment in pre-employment programmes and apprenticeships can lead to higher levels of staff retention; employees tend to be loyal to the organisations that invest in them.
- The Prince’s Trust offers mentoring support alongside its courses for up to 6 months after completion of a programme. This provides young people with additional support as they prepare for and start employment. For employers, this can help to retain new starters and integrate them into teams.
- This may also have a positive impact on retaining the existing workforce as staff feel supported and perform better in organisations that value diversity and are committed to employees' wellbeing.
- Diversity and inclusion are key in delivering high quality services as they enable your workforce to be truly representative of the community they serve. The Prince’s Trust supports disadvantaged young people into employment and research has shown that within healthcare, a diverse workforce can ensure a better understanding of patients' needs which is crucial for the delivery of joined-up, personalised care.
Fulfil your corporate social responsibility
- The Prince’s Trust NatWest Youth Index 2022 reveals young people’s overall happiness and confidence has hit lowest point in the thirteen year history of survey. Young people facing disadvantage and unemployment report consistently worse overall wellbeing, with a quarter reporting they always feel anxious.
- As the NHS is often the largest employer in a region, it is a critical source of employment for local people. By helping local young people into work and enabling them to develop a career, a trust can build a more inclusive work environment, improving the health and wellbeing of local communities and begin to narrow inequalities.
- Delivering Prince’s Trust pre-employment programmes are a great way to help local young people get ‘work ready’. Programmes are fully funded and offers a viable pathway into entry-level roles and apprenticeships for unemployed young people.
- Following a Prince’s Trust programme, the young people you employ can become a talent pipeline for your apprenticeship programmes. Apprenticeships offer an alternative route to a qualification from level 2 up to level 7. Embedding apprenticeships into your workforce strategy can support workforce supply shortages, training needs and benefit services.
- The apprenticeship levy provides the opportunity to maximise apprenticeships within the NHS, using money that is already ring-fenced. Training apprentices can be cost effective and can reduce overall training and recruitment costs.
- Growing staff shortages have led to an overreliance on the use of agency and other temporary workers to fill vacancies, costing the NHS a significant amount of money.
- Young people are not only the workforce of tomorrow; they also bring unique skills, attitudes, and new ways of working to organisations. Adapting recruitment processes to include individuals who may be lacking in confidence will help to ensure they are supported and retained throughout the recruitment process.
- Attracting young people who would not normally consider a career in the NHS or who are unaware of the variety of roles available provides an opportunity for organisations to identify and shape their skills to specific roles.
We have produced a template business case presentation to further assist you with presenting your business case to your board. The presentation also includes key messages you can use for each member of your board.
Download the PowerPoint.