Bristol’s hospital trusts join flagship work experience programme

Bristol’s two hospital trusts have pledged their support for the Bristol WORKS programme, an initiative run by the Bristol Learning City Partnership linking the city’s schools with employers and training to get young people ready for employment.

The programme offers bespoke experiences of work created with schools and based on the needs of their young people as well as the skills businesses are looking for in new recruits.

Both University Hospitals Bristol and North Bristol Trust will now be accepting students on placements, offering experiences which aim to inspire young people to work in health and care.

Councillor Anna Keen, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said:

“I’m a firm believer that raising aspirations can change people’s lives – and that’s exactly what is at the heart of the Bristol WORKS programme. By getting genuine, quality experience of the working world whilst at school, students can be inspired to achieve more and have access to better opportunities. It’s fantastic that both of our hospital trusts, who are key employers in the region, are coming together to make such a positive contribution to improving the skills and employment opportunities for young people in Bristol. There’s a target in the One City Plan, which sets out shared goals for the coming decades, to have 100 employers signed up by 2022 so if you are a local employer with something you can offer please get in touch with our team to see how we can help.”

In the last school year (17/18) almost 2,500 opportunities were created through the WORKS programme and 60 employers have now pledged support. Work continues this academic year to collaborate with four more schools and so far almost 500 experiences of work have been delivered, with many more in planning.

Robert Woolley, chief executive of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“This programme provides an excellent opportunity for our local schools and communities to find out about the many varied and hugely rewarding healthcare careers that are available at UH Bristol.

“Through a collaborative partnership approach, we can share resources and expertise to improve employment and skills opportunities, making a positive contribution to the development of local people and the future of the NHS.”

Jonathan Hall, Lead Apprenticeship Delivery Manager at North Bristol Trust, said:

“Engaging young people in the health and care sector early on is really important. We hope many of these young people will be inspired to start a career in health and apply for one of our apprenticeships at a later stage. We currently have about 400 people studying apprenticeships in a variety of clinical and non-clinical roles. Traineeships are a great way to enter the NHS and can lead to employment with the added bonus of studying for a nationally recognized qualification. NBT welcomes applications from all.”

Bristol WORKS is looking for more employers to get involved and there are lots of ways to do so. The WORKS website lists a range of ideas from delivering assemblies or providing mentoring through to arranging mock interviews, hosting visits from students in the workplace or supporting longer placements for young people via apprenticeships or training placements.

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