An inclusive approach to employment is a key objective at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust. It is enabling people from the local refugee and migrant population to return to a career in healthcare as well as helping young people and ex-offenders to access employment opportunities within the Trust.
Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust is one of the most deprived areas of England, with low quality housing, a transient community and poor levels of education.
With 7,000 staff, the Trust is the largest employer in the area. They have developed a widening participation programme to attract a diverse workforce and capture talent from the local community.
Widening participation in employment opportunities
The Trust has developed partnerships and initiatives to cover:
People with learning disabilities – partnering with schools, colleges and the local authority to support twelve supported internships.
Prison leavers – working with Balfour Beattie who are building a new hospital for the Trust to provide employment opportunities in construction for ex-offenders.
Young homeless people – the trust secured a grant to convert one of their empty buildings into accommodation for homeless people aged 16-24 – accommodation was offered on the condition that the residents complete an apprenticeship to provide them with employment opportunities.
The local refugee and migrant community – the Trust established the Health Overseas Professional programme (HOP) to help skilled people back into suitable employment. So far this programme has provided employment opportunities to over 300 people.
Local recruitment – the Trust is working with local people to support NHS jobs searches, including interview advice and guidance and helping people transfer their previous experience into NHS roles.
People with mental health considerations – working with a network of local schools and academies, the Trust have developed supported internships;
Young people – The trust has a thriving apprenticeship programme which provides over 180 apprenticeships at any given time.