From education to employment

Job seekers find their calling with new careers in the NHS

Job seekers who enrolled on a pre-employment programme embrace new careers after securing jobs with the NHS.

The eight-week programme, designed to help people build employability skills and gain real work experience, is operated by Inspira and North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust.

It concludes with a guaranteed interview with North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Trust for a Health Care Assistant position.

Angela Hall enrolled on the course in Carlisle looking to change careers after 21 years working as a teacher. She is now working in a permanent role as a Health Care Assistant after completing her training at the beginning of March.

She said: “This was a really great pathway into the NHS and gave us a strong foundation of knowledge and skills to begin our careers in healthcare. The placement days were so useful in understanding the role of a Health Care Assistant in an acute setting. I’m really glad I made the decision to enrol.

“I worked in Primary Education since 2002 as it worked around my family life when my children were young. As I enter middle age I wanted the opportunity to try an alternative career now I am no longer constrained by childcare.”

The Step into Work training programme, run by employability skills charity Inspira in association with the North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Trust, consists of targeted training and a practical work placement on a ward shadowing other Health Care Assistants.

The course covers how best to deal with people in an adult social care environment, communication skills, handling information, safeguarding and protection, teamwork in the health sector, career journeys, health and safety, placement preparation, four days of placement, reflection and feedback sessions, support with application forms and submissions, interview skills and mock interviews.

The most recent intake of ten students on the course saw eight go on to employment, including three into permanent posts. The Step into Work course employs Health Care Assistants onto the bank system, which allows them to choose their shifts and work patterns via an app.

Chris Gibson, Inspira’s Contracts Manager for Cumbria and Lancashire, said:

“The change I’ve seen in people attending this course has been amazing. It’s a different kind of approach to training, as we aim to get people employed at the end of it – we want to see those results and those happy faces knowing their hard work paid off.

“The Step into Work programme helps to build confidence, skills and knowledge. It is perfect for people who have always wanted to pursue a career in health, are maybe looking to change careers, are lacking experience, or have applied before and been unsuccessful.”

The Step into Work programme will start again on April 18 at West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven. The deadline for applications is March 24 and to apply please contact.

Photo: Course attendees in Carlisle, including Angela Hall (front row, third from left). Back row left to right: Joanne McCallum, Carla Smith, Stephanie Kelly, Simon Boy. Front row left to right: Fiona Campbell, Evie Dane, Angela Hall, Akinola Daramola.

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