Department of Health and Social Care
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Joint action plan announced to find work for healthcare job seekers

Joint action plan announced to find work for healthcare job seekers

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH News Release (2007/0087) issued by The Government News Network on 13 April 2007

A detailed action plan which will help to increase job opportunities for newly qualified healthcare professionals is published today.

The plan, which has been put together jointly by the NHS trade unions, the Department of Health and NHS Employers through the Social Partnership Forum, makes a series of practical suggestions as to what NHS, social care, local government, independent and voluntary sector employers and higher education institutions can do together to identify employment opportunities for newly qualified healthcare professionals.

Commending the forum participants, Health Minister Lord Hunt said:

"The Social Partnership Forum demonstrates that collaboration between employers, unions and the Department of Health can provide a constructive way forward in improving job opportunities for new graduates.

"I am encouraged by the response of many employers in helping ensure new qualifiers are supported. There is much work to do but this report provides a number of options to help those who have made a significant personal commitment in undertaking training."

Sian Thomas, Deputy Director of NHS Employers said:

"It is crucial that we do everything we can to identify job opportunities for new qualifiers who have been unable to find work. We need to ensure that we are making the best use of these staff to provide the highest possible care for patients.

"This document will help bring together employers from across sectors and higher education bodies in a partnership approach to tackling the problem. The availability of jobs varies greatly nationally so the key is in employers working together with partners locally to find their own solutions to their particular challenges".

Lesley Mercer, Director of Employment Relations and Union Services, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy said:

"For me, the main value of the action plan is that it moves the NHS in the direction of taking a more structured, collective approach to the employment of new health care professionals, involving all health employers across a strategic health authority area. The CSP looks forward to working with strategic health authorities to make it happen".

The action plan includes the following:

- The creation of talent pools of all new qualifiers seeking their first post through the use of NHS Jobs

- A feasibility study in the East of England which will consider an employment guarantee scheme

- Employers to work with SHAs to indicate the expected number of new qualifiers that will need to be employed

- Higher Education Institution career advisors to offer each qualifying healthcare professional support in their career planning

- Recommendations to be discussed at regional level through social partnership forums

- NHS trusts are to encourage new graduates to apply for entry posts rather than stipulating set amounts of experience

- NHS Careers is to work with individual unions to produce information targeted at new qualifiers seeking work

- Employers to work with trade unions to develop keeping-in-touch schemes with opportunities for work shadowing for newly qualified heathcare professionals.

Representatives from the key parties involved in the Social Partnership Forum are now developing their own work programmes to drive forward this plan.

The progress of the plan will be monitored through the Social Partnership Forum and they will formally review its success in six months' time.


Notes to editors

1. For queries please contact the DH Public Enquiries line on 0207 210 4850

2. The Social Partnership Forum is made up of representatives from NHS Employers, the Department of Health and the NHS trade unions. It meets every month and the next meeting of the forum is on 19 April.

3. The trade unions who attend the forum are:

- Amicus
- GMB (General Municipal & Boilermakers)
- BMA (British Medical Association)
- RCN (Royal College of Nursing)
- RCM (Royal College of Midwives)
- CSP (Chartered Society of Physiotherapy)
- SCP (Society of Chiropodists & Podiatrists

4.Representatives from the across the sectors met at a summit in January to share initial ideas about what could be done to address the shortage of opportunities for newly qualified healthcare professions. These initial proposals were then taken to a Social Partnership Forum meeting. This document is the result of discussions at that meeting.


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