NHS job scheme for service leavers expanded nationwide

A PILOT scheme to help service leavers into jobs in the National Health Service has been expanded nationwide.

The NHS Step Into Health access pathway was initially launched in 2014 in a small number of healthcare trusts after health chiefs recognised the transferable skills and cultural values that Armed Forces personnel develop when serving, and how they were compatible with roles within the NHS.

After a successful pilot in the Norfolk and Norwich University Trust, the scheme was expanded to include London, Sheffield, Northumbria and Hampshire.

Now, more than 40 Healthcare trusts around the United Kingdom have signed pledges to support the Step Into Health campaign by taking steps including removing barriers to recruiting members of the Armed Forces and their families, advertising vacancies and apprenticeships through the Career Transition Partnership, hosting insight days and offering work placements to service leavers.

NHS realising potential of military talent

Leigh Harrison, Step Into Health’s employer liaison lead, served for more than 16 years in the Royal Navy, both as a warfare officer and latterly in recruitment.

He said the programme was intended to allow the NHS, working in conjunction with The Royal Foundation and Walking With The Wounded, to access the growing pool of talent represented by service leavers and help the service fill its skills gaps with the right people.

“We know that ex-military people have excellent transferable skills which would be extremely valuable to the National Health Service,” he said.

“They are not necessarily going to answer the gaps we have in surgical and nursing staff but they are ideal for IT, estate and facilities management and so on.”

Tailored solution depending on needs of person and trust

The scheme includes offering apprenticeships and work placements, in order to make the NHS representative of the communities it serves and bring people from different backgrounds into the workplace.

Mr Harrison said: “It’s a tailored solution depending on the person who comes to us and the trust they come to.

“In the first instance, it leads to a conversation with the person and opens that dialogue to find out how we can best work together and it’s demonstrating our commitment to working with veterans.”

Jobs are listed online

Service leavers who want to find out more about the Step Into Health programme are encouraged to make contact directly with the NHS Trust they are interested in working for.

All the Trusts who have jobs are listed on the website, along with contact details.

A series of information days are being held all over the country to allow veterans and their families to find out more about working in the NHS