[A]FTER being unemployed for three years Stuart Taylor was very pleased to be accepted onto a programme that gave work experience in the NHS to those seeking employment and the guarantee of a job interview afterwards.
The 33-year-old from Carlisle was over joyed when he finished his placement and impressed the team so much he was offered a temporary position as an administrator in the medical education team.
He said: “I applied because it sounded like a really good opportunity to gain valuable experience in a big employer like the NHS and maybe get a job at the end of the placement, I am extremely happy that I have now been successful in getting this temporary role.
During my placement I was based at the Carleton Clinic and my co-workers were all really friendly and made me feel at home by introducing themselves and explaining their job role and making me feel like part of the team straight away, we also did the mile walk around the Carleton Clinic together most days on our lunch break. I also enjoyed getting experience working in the NHS doing things like spreadsheets, emailing doctors and taking minutes at a meeting which I’d never done before. It was also good getting positive feedback on my work.”
Stuart hopes that the programme continues so that more people are supported to get back into work, he explains how much he got out of it:
“The step into work programme has really helped me – it’s given me an opportunity to get a job, gain a lot of valuable experience and given me more confidence in my abilities.
“I’d like to carry on working for the NHS, it’s been great so far. My current job is only temporary as I’m a bank worker but I’d love to stay in the Medical Education department permanently or move to a different department as a bank worker after my time in Med Ed has ended and eventually get a permanent role somewhere.”
Natalie Gaston is a vocational learning facilitator for Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and helped coordinate the programme with her counterpart from North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust. She said: “The ‘Step into Work’ programme has been a very successful pilot scheme and I have thoroughly enjoyed co-ordinating this and supporting individuals through their journey, gaining experience and building their confidence to getting back into work. Across the two trusts five people were offered bank administration contracts and four were offered bank health care assistant contracts. Another of the placements also managed to secure a job outside the NHS.
“I am absolutely delighted for Stuart to be offered a bank contract and to return back to where he did his placement in Medical Education. I have seen this young gentleman grow with confidence and I wish him luck in hopefully securing a permanent role within the NHS trust.”
Claire Ward is PA to the Deputy Medical Director and supported Stuart while he was on placement. She said: “It was a pleasure to support Stuart on placement in Medical Directorate Support Services; he has had the opportunity to work with a number of different teams and alongside myself in my role as PA and Project Co-ordinator. We have sought to enable him with the tools, skills and experience that he can take with him to future opportunities and roles. He is a fast learner and has been an asset to the team in time he has been here; it has been wonderful to see him grow in confidence.”
The Step into Work Scheme was supported by Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust. It is one example of how NHS Trusts in the north of Cumbria are working together help recruit staff and promote the NHS in north Cumbria as a great place to work and live.