A Walsall recruitment scheme that has helped more than 100 people secure jobs in the NHS has been shortlisted for a national award.
Work4Health, which was created by Midlands’ landlord whg in partnership with Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust and Walsall College has made it through to the finals of the UK Housing Awards. The winners will be announced on 25 November.
It has been named a finalist in the Resident Employment and Training category, after impressing judges with the impact it has made on the lives of people who may have otherwise struggled to gain employment.
Work4Health is a pre-employment course developed specifically for Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust that aims to give participants the knowledge, skills, and expertise to apply for a range of NHS positions. The course includes an overview of working in the NHS, work experience, employability skills, and a guaranteed interview on successful completion.
The collaborative programme has been hugely successful, with 114 people now working as support service assistants and clinical support workers.
Director of Stronger Communities Connie Jennings said: “We know how important having a secure, high quality job is to a person’s health and wellbeing. Working with the NHS Trust we were able to create a programme that removed some of the barriers disadvantaged residents face when applying for work. This has meant that customers who lacked relevant work experience were not put off from applying while also leading to the NHS recruiting a more diverse workforce.”
Helen Billings, Programme Lead Workforce and Organisational Development for Walsall Together, said: “This programme of work is an excellent example of collaboration at place-based level, as a means of tackling the wider determinants of health, and reducing inequalities.
“The Work4Health scheme has really helped to improve recruitment to a range of entry level roles in our acute hospital, as well as support residents in social housing, to gain the training, development and confidence they needed to apply for jobs. Good quality employment has huge health and wellbeing benefits and as a partnership we are looking to mirror this scheme across Walsall to get people into the care sector, focusing especially on our most disadvantaged communities.”
James Norris, Assistant Principal for Commercial Development at Walsall College added: “This award shortlist recognition is testament to Work4Health’s success as a collaborative programme, delivering employer-led training and tailored support to help people secure in-demand roles.
“The percentage of the working population who are out of work is consistently higher in Walsall compared to the rest of the West Midlands region. This means our ongoing commitment to boosting skills and employability will impact further on the aspirations, achievements and prosperity of local individuals, businesses and our wider communities.”