Twelve learners aged 18-24 took part in the programme which combined a mixture of workplace and classroom training and enabled the young people to gain the knowledge and skills needed to work within an NHS environment.
This included mental health training, learning to care, safeguarding, communicating with patients, ward boundaries, and NHS values. They also achieved qualifications in English and maths.
The first two weeks of the programme were delivered at Skills Training UK’s Brighton Centre and included direct training from NHS staff.
Under close supervision, the young adults then took part in a work placement to experience a number of roles and responsibilities, including support worker on the wards, community patient care, patient administration, and working within the Trust cafe.
Many of the young adults have remained on the Trust’s staff bank and are taking their next steps towards a career, which could include an apprenticeship.
Mark Melling, Lead Nurse at Mill View Hospital, part of Sussex Partnership Foundation NHS Trust, said: “We are determined to find and employ staff who have the right attitudes, values, and beliefs to provide outstanding care to the people we provide services to. With our trainees, we have found fabulous young people who we have employed, and we look forward to growing their careers.”
Callum Evans, 20, from Brighton, completed his placement in the cafe at Elm Grove in Brighton. He said: “I’ve learnt a lot about effective communication with patients and have been improving my skills in catering. Following on from the traineeship I have now been placed on the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust staff bank and am interviewing for additional roles with my new-found experience.”
Skills Training UK will now run similar traineeships with the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in Chichester and Brighton.
Michael Eaton, Employer Engagement Lead at Skills Training UK, said: “The programme has been a great success and we are excited to replicate this in other areas.
“If any young adults aged 18-24 are interested in starting a career within the NHS, this could be the opportunity they need.”
Alison Bradbury, Workforce Development Manager at the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This project came about as a result of a conversation with Michael from Skills Training UK after attending local colleges for recruitment events where young people were not aware of the opportunities available to them in the NHS. I wanted to work with Michael to give young people an opportunity that was not qualification based but gave them experience and opened up their minds to possibilities they might not have considered.
“For me one of the best things about this scheme is it brings people in from our local community to consider career paths within their local community. I have been really overcome with how well these young people have done and the positive feedback from the staff that have been working alongside them providing a fantastic service to our patients.”
Alison Bradbury, Workforce Development Manager at the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust