Helping local people into work

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Student from our Autism@gstt project

A student on our Autism Project

What we are doing

We support a wide range of projects to help local people into work.

  • Work placements in our hospitals

    More than 350 local people have benefited from a work placement in our hospitals since 2008. Around half were long-term unemployed, many of whom have since got paid jobs at Guy's and St Thomas'. We currently provide around 80 placements each year, although we are continually looking at ways to increase this.

    Candidates spend one-to-two weeks in hands-on work experience roles in order to learn new skills and get a better understanding of how a busy hospital runs.

    To find out more about non-clinical placements, contact Joel Ryden, work placement co-ordinator, on 020 7188 8124 or email

  • Clinical work experience opportunities

    As an internationally recognised teaching hospital with a large and vibrant hospital community, we place great emphasis on developing our future workforce and on attracting the brightest and best-suited to the wide range of careers on offer.

    For young people who are thinking about a career in one of the healthcare professions, clinical work experience in the NHS offers you the chance to see what the job is really like. It may confirm a career choice, or open your eyes to other options that you haven't considered.

    We offer work experience in medicine, midwifery, nursing, pharmacy, and physiotherapy.

    To find out more about our Clinical Insight Programme, contact Joel Ryden, work placement co-ordinator, on 020 7188 8124 or email

  • Careers fairs

    Each year, our staff visit local schools and colleges to attend careers fairs or give talks to students.

    We recognise that choosing a career can sometimes be a daunting prospect, so we provide you with the opportunity to speak with a member of hospital staff about their experiences of getting into the NHS, what qualifications you will need, and what you can expect from a career in the NHS.

    Big Bang Fair standBig Bang Fair

    In March 2013, over 60,000 children and young people attended the Big Bang Fair at London ExCel. Over 120 staff and student volunteers from Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College London, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley inspired thousands of children by demonstrating the vast variety of healthcare careers on offer. 

    Children and families visiting the Healthcare heroes stand got hands-on experience of healthcare. From learning how to take blood and lessons in life support, to making bronchial trees of the lungs out of pipe cleaners, the stand proved a real hit. 

    For more information about careers events, contact Joel Ryden, work placement co-ordinator, on 020 7188 8124 or email

  • Supporting people with autism

    Charlie PettitGuy’s and St Thomas’ is the only hospital trust in the UK to pioneer The Autism Project, a work placement programme to support people with autism to gain the skills, experience and confidence they need to find work.

    The Autism Project@GSTT is a joint initiative between Guy’s and St Thomas’ and CareTrade, run in partnership with Orchard Hill College. We are now hosting our third group of young people on the project.

    Students undertake three 12-week work placements over the year, alongside studying for a OCR employability qualification. The programme aims to break down the barriers to employment faced by those with disabilities.

    Charlie Pettit (pictured) successfully completed the programme and was offered a paid position in the Hotel Services Department.

    For more information about the Autism Project@GSTT, contact Emma Bates, project manager, at See also our video on Enhancing employability in healthcare.

  • Offering apprenticeships

    The Government made a commitment to increase the number of apprenticeships offered in the public sector in 2009.  

    Offering apprenticeships changes lives, and brings business benefits to Guy's and St Thomas'. Our apprenticeship programme has helped staff to further their skills and local people to find a route into employment. Currently, there are almost 60 people in apprenticeships across the trust but there is more we can do.

    We plan to offer another 60 apprenticeships and advanced apprenticeships to local people over the next two years.

    Nicola SpencerNicola's story

    Nicola Spencer (pictured) was working in the Trust as a customer care receptionist in the maternity unit but wanted to become a midwife.

    Nicola applied for a maternity support worker apprenticeship, where she studied one day a week over the course of a year. The remaining time was spent working in women’s services. 

    After successfully completing the apprenticeship Nicola acknowledged that while it was challenging at times, she persevered making use of all the available support: "The training has helped my career. I have now got a conditional offer from King's College London to train to become a midwife. The experience I gained clinically and academically have helped me and, I believe, given me a good foundation for September."

  • E-mentoring to support local young people

    Guy’s and St Thomas’ has introduced an e-mentoring scheme which will bring together our staff and local young people. At its heart is social networking with a purpose. We see this as a unique opportunity to open our doors to the community, and to share our experiences and expertise with young people in neighbouring schools and youth centres. We are ideally placed to work in partnership with schools and youth organisations in Lambeth and Southwark to deliver innovative and high quality e-mentoring to young people.

    The e-mentoring programme launched in October 2013 and consisted of 45 staff mentoring over 180 young people from our local community. In January 2014, the Trust decided to extend the e-mentoring programme remit to include young people not in education, employment or training, along with local students.

    Listen to some of our staff and local young people talking about the scheme.

    To find out more about e-mentoring, email

  • South Bank Employers' Group

    Waterloo Job Shop logoWe recruit a significant number of local people each year through our partnership with the South Bank Employers' Group (SBEG) via their Waterloo Job Shop.

    Roles include housekeeping assistants and administrative staff. With SBEG, we look for different ways to promote and encourage local employment.

    Campaign with our housekeeping department

    We ran a campaign with our housekeeping department to hire 100 new workers to join our in-house trust staff bank. This included a commitment to appoint 40 long-term unemployed people from our local community in partnership with the South Bank Employers' Group and JobCentre+.  

    The campaign was designed to engage people who had either never been employed or had been away from the job market for a considerable time.

    The success of the campaign contributed to our success at the national in-house Recruitment Awards 2012, where we won two awards.

    Guy’s and St Thomas’ was the only public sector organisation nominated and was judged against commercial companies such as Tesco, Barclays, Whitbread, Matalan, House of Fraser, the National Trust, Direct Line and DHL.

    Placements for local people 

    Since 2008 we have worked with SBEG to provide unpaid administrative placements to local people who have been out of the job market for over a year.

    One hundred and fifty local people have benefited from a hands-on work placement, many of whom have gone on to get paid employment in our hospitals. 

    Applicants can register at the Waterloo Job Shop, complete an online application form and be interviewed all on the same day. If the candidate is successful, they are offered a placement by matching their skills, education and experience with roles in relevant departments.

    Find out more

    To find out more about our work with South Bank Employers' Group, contact Joel Ryden, work placement co-ordinator, on 020 7188 8124 or email

  • Working with the Princes' Trust

    Guy’s and St Thomas’ runs a course to help local young people get the skills and confidence that they need to find employment.

    Fifty people – aged between 16 and 25 – have been given placements in 17 departments across our hospitals since the scheme began in 2011.

    The three-week course, which is run in partnership with The Prince’s Trust, helps young people to improve their teamwork and communications skills and gain essential experience in the health sector.

    While on the programme young people are matched with a member of staff at the hospital who supports them while on their placement and gives them help with applying for jobs once the programme has finished. 

    Porsha LawrencePorsha's story

    Porsha Lawrence, aged 20 from Croydon, who has a placement in the hospitality department said: “I’ve been working behind the scenes of catering to get food to patients and the public. I’m meeting new people, everyone’s lovely, and I’m learning new things every day. I enjoy waking up to do something I love.”

    Watch our video

    For more information about our work with the Prince's Trust, watch our video.

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For more information about our work projects, please email