Headlines: December 3rd, 2004

The National Health Service says its annual Careers Job Shop Day this year was a record breaker. At the same time its online recruitment site has recorded its two millionth visitor.Figures just published by the Department of Health show the careers day, held in September, saw more events arranged than ever before and more calls to the national response line and hits on the website than in previous years.

Almost 300 events were staged by NHS Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities all over England. In addition, around 150 Job Centres opened special ‘healthcare’ desks for the day. The figures show more than 70,000 people visited a Job Shop on the day.

The NHS Careers Response Line received more than 34,000 calls – a 124 per cent increase on last year’s figure. Of those, about 15,000 enquiries were asking for details of the nearest Job Shop. The NHS careers website, which included a searchable database of all the events, also showed a marked increase in use with 23,651 visitors, 6,000 of them in London and the South East of England alone. The Job Shops were organised at a range of venues. In addtion to being in hospitals, events took place in shopping centres, theatres, sports clubs and at 23 Job Shop “bus stops”.

Visitors were from all age ranges, including students looking for entry level career information and former healthcare professionals wanting to find out about the support for refreshing skills and returning to the NHS.Health Minister John Hutton said the response showed interest in careers in the NHS was extremely healthy. Record numbers of staff were already joining the service and the combination of National Job Shop Day and the online recruitment service would help to increase further the numbers of new and returning staff.