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This pre-employment programme tackles the wider determinants of ill health (a key domain in the Public Health Outcomes Strategy).

Health intelligence suggests youth unemployment is a challenge. During recessions there are less entry level jobs, yet unemployment can significantly affect the future working life, confidence and health of a young person. There is a need to replace an ageing workforce at a time of increased prevalence of long term conditions in an ageing population.

This project is a collaboration between the NHS and The Prince’s Trust.

November 2014 update: Last November as the project celebrated its 500th young person through the pre-employment programme, the Chair of Health Education England announced that he would fund a national roll-out until 30 June 2014. This proved successful and there is now funding for a second round.
The business case for employing local young people, increasingly into apprentices within health and social care, is being accepted by employers, so before too long there won’t need to be separate funding to work in this way.
There is a new programme run by HEE called Talent for Care, and this work is one of the work streams under the ‘Get In’ section.  This will be the NEET strategy for the NHS.
Year established
2009
Number of staff
0.5 WTE project lead for health education, East of England.  In addition there is management time supplied via a contract for courses with the Prince’s Trust (10 courses run each year, and cost of training staff is part of the overheads for each course).
Number of users
120 – 150 per year
Is there a charge to users?
No charge to users
What makes your project sustainable?
This is a pre-employment programme to attract non-traditional recruits to vacant posts or apprenticeships. It can reduce the costs of recruitment and slow turnover by recruiting local young people recruited against the Values in the NHS Constitution.
User demographics
Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds – educational underachievers, offenders and ex-offenders, unemployed, in or leaving Care, ie the target group for The Prince’s Trust.So far, 523 young people have started this programme. They receive information about their own health through the inclusion of the Royal Society for Public Health qualification in behavioural change, and acquire employment skills, sector specific qualifications and work experience together with mentoring. 62.72% have moved into employment on completion of the course, with 78% moving out of NEET status.
Innovation
Non-traditional recruits are introduced to the workforce with the Values expressed in the NHS Constitution.Re-design of posts and staffing establishments has resulted to create opportunities for young people within existing or reduced budgets. The content of the programme is flexible as it must meet the needs of the employer, but the inclusion of the RSPH qualification is standard so the young person is better equipped to make healthy lifestyle choices.The programme introduces young people to managers who would not necessarily consider them through their normal recruitment processes. Herein lies the ‘innovation’. Existing staff groups can be changed as a result of the introduction of young people with the enthusiasm and life skills they bring to the mix and young people learn the value of developing oneself within a team.‘I didn’t realize work can be fun’ was one comment.
Patient-centred, whole person, preventative approach
Young people are valued as the individuals they are. Giving them a chance to acquire employment skills builds confidence and attracts them to work.
Evidence-informed, practice and evaluation
523 starters on the programmes, 487 completing the course (some find work before the end), 7% attrition, 62.72% moving into employment, 78.02% moving out of NEET status. Each course runs with approximately 12 participants over a four or five week period.
Multi-disciplinary collaboration, communication and professional practice
The programme enables the alignment of the workforce needs of the NHS and its contractors, with the social responsibility of significant employers, provides excellent opportunities for young disadvantaged people and challenges employers to think differently about young people.To achieve the success rates it has, local managers have needed to think about their skill mix differently, to create entry level posts/apprenticeships within existing financial resources. This has been challenging for some professional staff groups, but where this challenge has been taken up increased job statisfaction has resulted.
Awards
On completion of each programme there is a Celebration Event where participants talk about their journey to work. Some of this has been captured on DVD and case studies are produced in booklet form. Articles have been written for in-house journals about specific individuals. In November there is to be a bigger celebration as over 500 young people have now completed programmes. Documentation produced for this will be available via websites.
Contact details
Health Education East of England
653 The Crescent
Colchester
Essex
CO4 9YQt: 07976 057645
e: jane.winter64@gmail.com / richard.garnett@princes-trust.org.uk