Case Study

Engaging young people with the We Want You project

The We Want You project showcases the large variety of NHS careers available, whilst empowering young people to consider their future careers.

15 January 2024


The We Want You project at NHS Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board (ICB) focuses on supporting young people to reflect on the skills and personal interests that they have, which can be matched to a future career in health and care. This is part of the ICB’s principle of ensuring that organisations within the integrated care system (ICS) are local employers of choice.

Key benefits and outcomes

  • Raises awareness of the many and varied careers in health and care, ensuring all young people have access to support regardless of their background.
  • Supports young people from the local community in identifying how their interests and skills are transferable to future careers.
  • Showcases careers in health and care that are difficult to recruit for.  
  • Supports career outreach with young adults and generates an interest in health and care at a younger age, strengthening the pipeline for future recruitment.

What the organisation faced

This project is intended to promote the employers within One Gloucestershire ICS, as the best employers in the area, encouraging young people to consider working for them and showcasing career opportunities. 

Through the project the ICB is aiming to develop a sustainable talent pipeline that will support employers in the years to come, whilst also sharing information on higher education programmes at the University of Gloucestershire and alternative pathways into health and care, such as T Levels and apprenticeships.

What the organisation did

Funded by One Gloucestershire, We Want You is a twelve-month project. The ICB engaged with year 8 and 9 students from 19 different schools to present a range of careers in health and care. This involves looking at the hobbies and interests that the young people have, and how they would lend themselves to careers in health and care. 

This involved the creation of a range of resources such as promotional toolkits for schools, social media clips and in-person workshops to promote relevant careers. Co-produced with young people, the intention was to create a one-stop-shop for young people interested in health and care. The co-production ensured that the resources created were suitable and attractive to the age group, involving collaborating on the design stage, creating games together, working on branding and coming together to do some myth-busting. 

After discussing marketing strategies, it used a social media-focused strategy to directly engage with young people using video content as the primary way of gaining traction and attention. This is supplemented with more traditional website content to provide further information to parents. 

It also took a direct approach when engaging with schools. This included career days, where young people could try on different staff uniforms, and funded drama-based engagement, that showcased different health and care career opportunities.

The ICB ensured that the schools they engaged with are representative of the communities in the area, ranging from schools in deprived areas to grammar schools. This ensures that young people from all backgrounds have a chance to learn about the great variety of careers available. It also showcased some more niche careers, for example a reconstructive scientist attended a recent event to raise awareness of the role. Whilst many roles highlighted are clinical, the ICB also ensures non-clinical roles are represented such as IT, finance, estates and facilities and business administration.

Takeaway tips

  • Ensure that the conventional image of those working in health and care is addressed early, to motivate young people and reassure them that health and care can provide anyone with a fulfilling career in a large range of different roles.
  • What works in one school may not work in another. Bespoke activities and engagement with young people and career leads is key to understanding their career aspirations.
  • Data capture is difficult with young people but crucial. The ICB asks for feedback directly after each in-person workshop, as well as cross-referencing this with web traffic on careers websites. It also manually counts the number of young people who have engaged at a stand on a career day to demonstrate impact.
  • Engagement with both the young person and their parents is important, as the young person’s interest in a career will be reinforced by support from the parent.
  • Consider the impact of the intervention on other careers engagement activities for other age groups of young people. It is important that they feed into each other, building and adapting the offer depending on the age range.