An innovative project designed to help unemployed people back into work has proved an outstanding success with 17 candidates already securing permanent employment with The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.
The project is managed by the Manchester Growth Company, and is part of the Skills Funding Agency’s Skills for Employment programme. Skills for Employment is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF). It is delivered across Greater Manchester and offers unemployed participants a personalised programme of training and support to help them find sustainable employment.
The project is run by the Manchester Growth Company in partnership with The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which operates North Manchester General Hospital, The Royal Oldham Hospital, Rochdale Infirmary, Fairfield General Hospital in Bury plus Community and Integrated Care Services within the region.
The Trust initially provides four weeks of classroom training which leads to a BTEC Level 1 Certificate in Vocational Studies. This is followed by 10 weeks of work placement during which participants complete the National Care Certificate which is a nationally recognised assessment of patient care skills. Work placements are available for Trainee Healthcare Assistants in various wards including children’s wards and in Radiology. There are also new roles available for Porters.
In addition to Pennine Acute Trust, Skills for Employment is delivered by a diverse group of Further Education colleges, learning providers, employment organisations and housing associations across Greater Manchester, under Manchester Growth Company’s GM Futures partnership.
Salma Khatun, aged 27 from Rochdale, who completed the course and has been offered a position with the Trust said: “The pre-employment programme has helped me to build and develop skills in a new area. The Learning and Organisational Development department have been very supportive throughout my training. I have now successfully gained employment with the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, and I am looking forward to a new career within the Trust.”
Jerry Stokes, Managing Director for Employment at the Manchester Growth Company said: “This has been a very successful start to this programme. Although some of the participants decided during the training that a career in the care industry wasn’t for them, the majority of those in the first two groups who completed the programme and attended an interview were offered jobs.”
“The very practical nature of the training and the involvement of the Trust throughout the programme makes it a great preparation for working in this important sector of the economy. The programme has helped the candidates to overcome a wide range of barriers to employment, including very long term unemployment in some cases, and we hope to be able to replicate this successful model in other areas of Greater Manchester.”
Diana Finlayson, Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust’s Assistant Director of Learning and Organisational Development said: “We are delighted to support this employment initiative for the communities we serve. We are proud to be able to tap into a huge range of local talent to enable us to continue to provide excellent care for our patients. This programme is a springboard to a number of excellent careers within the NHS.”