A group of successful young Kickstart recruits were officially welcomed into the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust family this Autumn, marking their successful graduation from the Government’s employment funding scheme to secure, paid roles within the Trust.
And the NCA’s commitment to young people was highlighted further at the end of November, as the Trust hosted a successful ‘communities of practice’ event, focusing on how - as one of the largest employers in the region – it is working to strengthen relationships with system partners, helping to support the next generation of workers from local communities into successful NHS careers.
Natasha Reynolds, Nifemi Olusola, Aimee Roberts, Laura Soares, Ellie Rigby, Conner Ellison, Matthew Wood and Phoebe Vanden joined the Kickstart programme with the NCA in May 2021, and have since successfully completed six month placements within various departments across the organisation including Pharmacy, Pathology, Neurophysiology, Phlebotomy, Administration, Medical Sciences and the Widening Participation team.
The young people were presented with their certificates by the NCA’s Chairman, Professor Michael Luger, who congratulated them all personally at the ceremony held at Salford Royal Hospital.
Professor Luger said: “As one of the largest NHS trusts in the country, through social responsibility and regional economic development work, we’re committed to improving not only people’s healthcare, but to the economic wellbeing of the people in our communities. By 2025 we want to have offered around 1,000 pre-employment opportunities, we want to ensure at least 85% of those who we train end up in paid employment.
“I want to congratulate and recognise all of our Kickstarters for completing their six month training period, showing persistence and commitment and I hope they’ve benefited as much from the experience and training they’ve received as we have done from the work they have put in. Well done, and congratulations.”
Professor Luger also chaired a session at the NCA’s recent Communities of Practice event alongside David Hughes, CEO of the Association of Colleges, bringing together almost 100 people from the health, social care, local authority and education sectors, to explore ways in which they can work together to improve opportunities for young people across the region.
David said: “We need to let young people know that, through the partnerships in place between colleges and Further Education with organisations like the Northern Care Alliance, they can fulfil whatever ambitions they have within the NHS, wherever they start from.”
Professor Luger added: “This is the right time, and the right places for us to work together to deliver social value creation, particularly due to the impact of COVID-19, and the socio-economic challenges our local communities face.”
Both events coincided with the beginning of another exciting new development at the NCA, as it launches WorkSTART, its dedicated web page where candidates, including young people from across the region, can find out about the career and work experience programmes currently on offer and begin to create links with our future workforce, supporting them into their early careers in the NHS.
The NCA also works in partnership with local school and college students, including Oldham College, Bury College, Hopwood Hall College in Rochdale and Salford City College, inspiring and helping students to make their career decisions and showing them what a great career you can have in the NCA and the wider NHS.
Donna McLaughlin, Director of Social Value for the Trust, explained: “Our mission is to support young individuals to gain paid employment, learn new skills or simply gain exposure to the world of healthcare. We’re committed to improving the life opportunities, inclusion, social mobility and health and wellbeing of our local population.
“Nearly 60% of our staff currently come from the communities we serve in Bury, Oldham, Rochdale and Salford and our ambition is to continue to increase this even more than by 2025. We know there is strong evidence linking decent work with good health, and by employing local people, and committing to providing we are supporting our local economy and infrastructure.”