Headlines: April 16th, 2007



The NHS has joined forces with trade unions and health service employers to draw up an action plan to increase job opportunities for newly qualified healthcare professionals. The plan has been put together through the Social Partnership Forum and makes practical suggestions for NHS, social care, local government, independent and voluntary sector employers as well as higher education institutions about how they can identify employment opportunities.

The plan proposes the creation of talent pools of all newly qualified people looking for their first post. There will also be a feasibility study in the East of England to consider an employment guarantee scheme and employers will work with Strategic Health Authorities to indicate the likely numbers of new qualifiers that will need to be employed. At the same time advisors in higher education will be urged to offer each qualifying professional support in their career planning.

Health trusts will be asked to encourage new graduates to apply for entry posts instead of stipulating set amounts of experience when advertising jobs and both NHS Careers and employers will work with individual unions to produce information for new qualifiers seeking work and to develop ways of keeping people in touch with opportunities for work shadowing for new heathcare professionals. As a next step the recommendations are to be discussed at regional level through social partnership forums, each of which will decide its own actions to drive the plan forward

Sian Thomas, Deputy Director of NHS Employers said it was crucial that everything was done to identify job opportunities and to ensure the service was making the best use of new staff to provide the highest possible care for patients. “This document will help bring together employers from across sectors and higher education bodies in a partnership approach to tackling the problem. The availability of jobs varies greatly nationally so the key is in employers working together with partners locally to find their own solutions to their particular challenges