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Talent for care - GET IN

The GET IN section of the Talent for Care strategy focuses on the drive to ensure there are opportunities for people to start their career in a supporting role.


The strategic intentions related to this are to:

  • Broaden the ways into training and employment in the NHS, especially to attract more young people and improve diversity within the workforce.
  • Increase the chances for people to try new experiences of working in the NHS.
  • Engage more staff to act as NHS Ambassadors who can promote NHS careers to schools, colleges and local communities

In Kent, Surrey and Sussex, we work alongside the Prince’s Trust and Jobcentre Plus to develop and deliver work experience programmes, traineeships, pre-employment programmes, sector based work academies, and apprenticeships

Ben Jones is the Health & Social Care Pre-employment Programmes Co-ordinator for Kent. He is based out of Kent & Canterbury Hospital working with the health and social care employers across Kent to deliver be-spoke pre-employment programmes to fit their recruitment needs. He has over 16 years’ experience of working in the public and voluntary sectors with DWP and Gingerbread and has worked with various large employers across different employment sectors managing and co-ordinating pre-employment programmes including the award winning Marks & Start “Parents Returning to work Programme” in partnership with Marks & Spencer.

We are collaborating with schools and colleges in our region to promote NHS careers to students who are in the process of making career choices.

To support young people in understanding the range of careers available within the NHS, our three county specific pre-employment programme co-ordinators are able to support schools and colleges with a range of careers activities. This includes:

  • Exhibiting at a careers fair
  • Facilitating an NHS based activity with a group of school children
  • Participating in  an employability skills workshop
  • Promoting apprenticeship opportunities within the NHS

Our team members will be able to support primary, secondary schools and colleges across the region, depending on the level of demand. Across the region our team will work closely with individual trusts, and are happy to co-ordinate specific requests from schools to support an aspect of the curriculum for example STEM, pharmacy or technology. We will liaise with individual trusts on your behalf and seek the relevant professional for your activity. Our work also includes promotion of health and social care careers to adults and we attend events and careers fairs, working in partnership with other organisations including DWP, local authorities, Princes Trust, voluntary and community groups.

In addition to supporting individual requests we will also be attending key events across the region, these include STEMFEST, Surrey Opportunities Fair, Big Futures and Kent Choices. The national NHS schools competition for 2016/17 has now been launched for year 8 and 9 students. This year, in addition to national, regional and highly commended winners, the KSS region will select a county winner for Kent, Surrey and Sussex. 

The county winner(s) will:

  • receive a framed certificate,
  • win for their class a visit to a hospital within the county which will include a tour and other health related activities,
  • and win for the school £300 worth of equipment to support the science or PSHE curriculum.

The pre-employment co-ordinators are happy to visit schools to discuss the competition with staff or promote the competition to students. For information, terms and conditions on the Kent, Surrey and Sussex county awards, please contact Sian Sallis at Sian.Sallis@hee.nhs.uk. Sian is based at Royal Surrey County Hospital. Sian previously worked at the Skills Funding Agency, working in partnership with local LEPs on the skills agenda and managing a range of education, skills and ESF contracts. She has experience in supporting employers to establish apprenticeship programmes, developing employability provision and is a qualified careers advisor.

For further information on the national competition and how to enter please see Step Into The NHS Schools' Competition.

The career progression team at KSS local area team liaises with other stakeholders in public health, social care, third sector, etc. to develop a range of opportunities for dedicated young people in the region. These opportunities include the development of youth health ambassador roles and allowing 16-19 yr olds experience care provision by attending a summer school at their local hospice.

Madhu Meshram is the Education & Training Facilitator and Project Manager for Human Factors supporting the career progression team in designing, delivering, and facilitating projects and initiatives that offer career progression opportunities in health and social care. She has assisted the delivery of hospice summer school projects, set-up of pre-degree nursing experience pilots, developing links with schools and JobCentre Plus, and providing careers advice at various events across Kent, Surrey and Sussex. For more information on the above projects please contact Madhu at Madhu.Meshram@hee.nhs.uk.

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