Ambitious project seeks to strengthen healthcare workforce 

Business / Tue 26th Sep 2023 at 08:22am

A NEW series of pilot projects will help residents to secure work in the health and care sector. Essex County Council and Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust (MSEFT) have committed a total of £610,000 to these interventions.The project comprises three ambitious workstreams.

Anchor Ambition will see the Trust extend its successful ‘Southend Ambition 2050’ programme. Engagement will now also target Basildon, Canvey Island and rural Braintree.Anchor Ambition will help residents to secure reliable employment within the NHS. It will engage at least 300 residents by 2025 and help them to secure work.Interventions will include skills, applications and onboarding support. The workstream also hopes to simplify the application and recruitment process.

The second workstream will create a new digital platform hosting bite-sized learning. This will engage more than 1,500 young people to become the next generation of NHS professionals.Local digital experts, hundo, will build the platform. They have already launched an innovative virtual work experience service based on a video game.The Trust will host relevant training modules on the new platforms.

Applicants can complete these before joining to help them navigate the recruitment process with confidence.

The Health Start workstream will offer paid work experience to nine disadvantaged young people for up to four months.This workstream will help young people become more familiar with the workplace. It aims to raise aspirations and encourage future NHS applications.Essex County Council’s Employability and Skills Team will support and promote the programme. They will engage residents via ongoing community outreach. Opportunities will also feature in the popular Essex Careers Magazine.

Councillor Louise McKinlay, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Levelling Up, Communities and Business Engagement, said: “We are thrilled to be working with NHS partners on this exciting project.”We are confident that this collaboration will help to achieve our Levelling Up ambitions. It will enable us to offer interventions where they will have the most impact. Positive outcomes will help individual residents as well as our inclusive and vibrant economy.”

Councillor Tony Ball, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education Excellence, Lifelong Learning and Employability, added: “More than 8% of UK healthcare roles are currently unfilled. If left unaddressed, this shortage could pose serious risks to our NHS.”This project will address these ongoing challenges. Along the way, we’ll secure future-proof opportunities for those who need them most.”We look forward to progressing with this ambitious project. We will share outcomes as they are achieved by our NHS colleagues.”

Kevin Garrod, Anchor Programme Manager at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to deliver this ambitious programme. Having the support of Essex County Council is essential in ensuring its success.”The project will combine their knowledge of the local area with our industry expertise. This will help us to engage with our communities in a way we’ve not been able to do before, bringing new opportunities that will offer skills and opportunities for work at our hospitals and the local NHS.”

We will use data and insight throughout the pilot to respond to changing needs. This will also help us to scale-up the project as it progresses and reach even more people across mid and south Essex.”

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