College helps support NHS recruitment

Work placements in NHS offers unemployed the chance to gain experience.

Birmingham Metropolitan College and Jobcentre Plus have worked in partnership with Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust to support local people in preparing for and securing work placements and traineeships at hospitals in West Bromwich and Smethwick.

Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust offer work experience opportunities for people who are unemployed and looking to get back into work.  The scheme was promoted across Birmingham and the Black Country by Jobcentre Plus and potential candidates were offered a two week free pre-employment training course through Birmingham Metropolitan College’s Job Skills Shop.

Pauline Jones, Account Manager at Jobcentre Plus, said:  “Our aim by working in partnership with Birmingham Metropolitan College is to support people back into work and equip them with relevant job skills to help them find long term employment. The innovative work placement scheme being offered by the NHS Trust provides candidates with a variety of opportunities to prepare for interviews and build their confidence through work experience placements which last for eight weeks.  Some of them will then have an opportunity to apply for full time work across a range of different departments.”

Tina Dalzell, Job Skills Manager at Birmingham Metropolitan College, said:  “As a result of the NHS Trust’s work experience drive, we have put over 50 local people through our Job Skills Employability programme taking them through a variety of modules including developing self, team work, individual rights and responsibilities, preparing for work, healthy living and managing social relationships amongst others.  Some of our candidates have been out of work for a long time and some have just left university so it’s a broad mix of people who are looking to get back into employment.  The course prepares them and equips them for interviews, writing CVs and gaining valuable insights into the world of work.”

Red Francis, 21, from Smethwick, had been unemployed for four months after leaving university with a Media & Cultural Studies Degree. After struggling to find employment, he was signposted by his Jobcentre Plus advisor to the NHS Trust Work Experience Programme. He said: “I was struggling to find work because, despite having a degree, I didn’t have any work experience and employers wanted to see evidence that I had some.  I completed the employability training which really helped me focus on what employers are looking for and was lucky enough to be picked for one of the eight week placements in the Eye Care Department at Sandwell Hospital.  I worked in the archive department, transferring records onto an electronic system and answering the telephone.

“I really enjoyed the routine of working and am really pleased to say that I’ve just secured full time work with the NHS Trust after being interviewed to join their Recruitment Bank.  Without a doubt, the advice and support given to me by Jobcentre Plus and my tutor from Birmingham Metropolitan College on the employability course gave me a great head start to getting into work.”