A helping hand into employment

Tuesday 5 March 2013

Prince's Trust group

Skills Minister Matt Hancock visited St Thomas’ Hospital on Friday (1 March) to meet young people on a Prince’s Trust course to help them back into work. 

The Trust’s Get into the NHS course is delivered by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals and helps young people get the skills and confidence they need to find employment.

Director of Equality and Diversity at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Staynton Brown, said: “There are so many talented young people out there who haven’t been given the right advice or opportunities to help them into work.

“974,000 young people aged 16-24 are currently unemployed in the UK. We feel we have a lot to offer with a broad range of jobs in our hospitals, and excellent careers advice on hand, so in 2011 we signed up to be the first hospital trust in London to deliver The Prince’s Trust programme.

“This exciting partnership has seen Guy’s and St Thomas’ develop a work experience and traineeship programme to expand placements for local young people. 50 people aged between 16 and 25 have been given placements in 17 departments across our hospitals since the scheme began including security, Olympic planning, catering, dental, finance and IT.

“By offering good work experience it provides young people with the skills they need to gain long term employment.”

The three-week course helps young people to improve teamwork and communication skills and gain essential skills and experience in the health sector.

The first few days are spent learning more about CV writing and interview skills before gaining on-the-job experience in various departments. While on the programme young people are matched with a member of staff at the hospital who will support them whilst on their placement. They will also support them with applying for jobs once the programme has finished. Travel and childcare costs are also paid for.

The Minister met Porsha, aged 20 from Croydon, who has a placement in the hospitality department. “I was studying barbering but wanted to learn new skills and try a new challenge.

“I’ve been working behind the scenes of catering to get food to patients and the public. As part of my placement I’ve also been taught first aid, and spent time in the simulation centre learning about patient care on manikins; so it’s been really varied.

“I love it here – the fact that I’m not sitting down all day, 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.”

Matt Hancock, Skills Minister, said: “It was inspiring to meet young people on The Prince’s Trust Get into programme who are gaining the skills and experience they need to get into sustainable jobs. The Prince’s Trust is supporting young people to acquire the skills, qualifications and experience that employers need in the sectors where there are identified job and apprenticeship opportunities.

"This is exactly the sort of dedicated, focussed help we need to do more to support, and we will be working with organisations like The Prince’s Trust and employers like Guy’s and St Thomas’ Trust on a new Traineeship programme which will give young people the helping hand and experience they need to compete for apprenticeships and good jobs.”

The Prince's Trust helps disadvantaged young people to get their lives on track. It supports 13 to 30-year-olds who are unemployed and those struggling at school and at risk of exclusion. Three in four young people supported by The Trust move into work, education or training.

Last updated: March 2013

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