Developing essential skills for young people leading to increased opportunities of employment in healthcare.



“We are committed to ensuring that the NHS has a workforce, both now and in the future, that can meet the needs of patients. Employability and work experience programmes help us find the registered professionals and support staff that will work in the health and care system for years to come, and provide opportunities for young people to get ready for and get into a great career in the NHS.”

Kirk Lower, National Lead for Talent for Care

Sector Healthcare
UK Workforce 1,300,000
Placement Model Various – there are a number of different employers within the NHS and each has its own policies
Funding Source Various


HEE, on behalf of the NHS, is one of Movement to Work’s key supporters, delivering 4,800 opportunities for young people this year. Across the NHS, work placements are used as a feeder into apprenticeships and other sustainable employment, as part of a broader workforce supply strategy. Work placements are also a vital part of NHS employers’ efforts to widen participation and improve social mobility, offering opportunities to disadvantaged or underrepresented individuals to help ensure a workforce that is representative of the communities they serve.

Both employers and young people in the NHS have seen great benefits from work placements. For the organisation there are improved staff retention outcomes, as candidates are empowered to make more informed decisions about the career path and working environment offered by the NHS. Candidates gain a chance to showcase their skills and demonstrate commitment over an extended period, to build relationships, and to improve their chances of finding employment with the NHS, with the aim of applying for an apprenticeship or other sustainable employment.


NHS Case Studies

Rachel Williams, Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust

Rachel said: “A few years ago, I developed chronic back problems whilst working in a fruit and veg store. Since then I experienced a dispiriting cycle of job rejections because of my back condition. In the end I gave up even looking for jobs.

When I heard that Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital was running a Get into programme, I was eager to seize the opportunity. To give myself a better chance at interview, I even decided to change my hair colour – it had been bright blue!

Whilst on the programme, I applied for a business administration apprenticeship within the therapies team at the trust. I was lucky enough to be offered an interview during my fourth week of the programme. By the end of that week I had been offered a 12-month apprenticeship!

I had just been stuck in this slump for so long I thought it would be another ‘no’ once I told them about my health issues.

Without the Get into programme, I’m sure I would never have got the post. I also found a more tolerant attitude within the therapies department. In fact, I discovered many of my colleagues also had back problems – it’s just a really supportive environment.

The apprenticeship involved providing administrative support to the four different  therapies offered at the hospital – physio, occupational therapy (OT), speech and diet. I also helped run the reception area.

To begin with, I must admit that I wondered if I’d ever get to grips with it all. But I got a lot of support and I made such progress that, at the end, I was voted Shropshire’s apprentice of the year for business and administration. I then obtained a permanent level 2 post as an administrative assistant in the same department.

I love every aspect of my work and particularly enjoy running reception. There are quite a lot of regular patients and I get to know them quite well, so it’s always nice to have a chat with them.

The department has become like a second home to me. In fact, I spend more time here than I do at home!

I still have ‘good days and bad days’ with my back but I have been able to adapt my environment to accommodate these problems.

I have an interest in health and wellness, and helping people to lead healthier lifestyles. I also have two pugs and like to spend time with them.

As for my future, I want to stay in the same department but work my way up the career ladder. Following my 12-month apprenticeship, I was offered a Band 2 administration assistant role.

A year later I was promoted to a Band 4 Personal Assistant to the therapies manager. I would like to undertake my level 3 qualification, and then maybe take a step up as an administrative supervisor and ultimately an office manager.

I strongly recommend the Get into programme to anyone looking for a second chance. I don’t know where I’d be now if I hadn’t done that. It’s changed my life into a much happier one. I’m much more focused and I’ve got a reason to get up in the morning.

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