Northern Care Alliance seeks young Oldham residents to 'step into the NHS'

17 January 2022

Young people in the Oldham area are being invited to ‘step into the NHS’ by a local hospital trust. Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with local charity Positive Steps, are offering 16 to 25 year olds access to support and real workplace experience with the possibility of progression into full apprenticeships, at The Royal Oldham Hospital.

The six-week programme, designed to provide a starting point for young people to develop, is also geared towards helping candidates overcome barriers including dealing with anxiety and establishing a regular routine which, in turn, can lead to better training and employment opportunities.

Two options for applicants

There are two routes into the programme for young adults who must be aged between 16 and 25 and currently living in Oldham and receiving benefits to qualify, including an introduction to work opportunities in either customer service and administration or alternatively, in healthcare support.

All candidates will take part in weekly sessions based at the hospital over a month and a half, gaining qualifications in customer service, safeguarding and equality and diversity, completing units towards a care certificate qualification.

If necessary, they can also improve and develop their functional skills in English and Maths with the support of Oldham College, to help them ‘step into the NHS’ with even more skills and confidence.

Sandra Jones, People Development Manager for Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust, explained: “We are thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity to potential new recruits into the NHS. It’s a key part of our social value agenda to train and retain local young people who may not have had the same opportunities as others - and who live in the communities we serve - helping them remove or overcome the barriers they currently face.

“We have seen great successes through this programme already, with young people coming through to permanent employment, going onto college or other programmes and volunteering.  We are excited to hear from people ready to look at these opportunities and hopefully help us continue to build our future NCA Family.”

All candidates will be given mentoring support throughout the programme in either a one to one situation, or in groups, both virtually and face to face. At the end of the programme candidates will also complete a two-week placement at the hospital.

Testimonials from previous candidates


“I have learnt lots of different skills and it is also helping me with my confidence, with dealing with the public. The staff at the hospital have also been very helpful in supporting me and encouraging me.

"Without Positive Steps, I feel I would have just been left with little or no support and I would have found it very difficult to get a job. I cannot thank Cynthia enough for the support she has given me and the effort she has put in to get me to this position. Today I have been told I have got a job at Oldham hospital.”          


“The first day that the programme started, I was excited but nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. Before I went into the building, I remember feeling sick, scared, and anxious because it was the first step towards doing something for myself. I also remember shaking and trembling in the car, telling my mum and dad that I didn’t want to go in.

“All these intense feelings quickly disappeared as I was welcomed by such friendly and kind staff. I was feeling somewhat relieved after meeting everyone, but at the same time nervous because it made me realise that since leaving school in 2018, and not doing anything since then, due to helping my dad taking care of my mother,

“I have gained a great deal of knowledge and understanding about what it’s like to work in a hospital – like environment. I am very appreciative of the opportunity that has been given to me and I am also thankful to the people that helped make this programme happen as I would not be where I am today without you."

Find out more

If you are interested or would like to refer or a young person, please contact Step into the NHS mentor Cynthia Greaves at

You can also visit the NCA’s WorkSTART pages to find out more about opportunities to join the NHS.

Download a copy of the Stepping into the NHS Programme flyer.

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