New web resource shows diversity in health sector jobs

Issue date: 22 March 2011

The huge diversity of work opportunities connected to the health sector existing beyond traditionally recognised jobs like nursing or physiotherapy is not widely known.

In order to broaden awareness about the huge range of possible career paths, two experts from the University of the West of England have worked in partnership with a range of South West organisations to develop a web resource that highlights the diversity of roles needed to keep the health sector working. The project was commissioned by South West Strategic Health Authority to help people understand that the NHS workforce is changing and new roles are emerging so it is essential that people are aware of new opportunitites and different ways of accessing work.

Gail Born and Lynn Denning from UWE have combined their experience in health sector working, lecturing, training and outreach work in partnership with careers services, schools, voluntary sector organisations and councils, to create a one stop shop that gives a wealth of information and support.

Gail explains, “The website, is an invaluable South West focused resource and an integral part of a wider commitment to raise awareness of the range of work roles in the NHS.

“Right now the NHS has an ageing workforce with a very small percentage of the workforce under the age of 25 and this does not reflect the population that it serves. We need to broaden knowledge about the diversity of opportunities in the NHS but also provide clear and easily accessible information about access opportunities such as apprenticeships. The website also gives advice on a range of job search techniques and application skills.

“We are directing some of our work at traditional careers services to inform young people but we are also reaching out to the wider community groups, including black and minority ethnic, unemployed and disadvantaged people, to open up new opportunities and to ensure that the workforce fully reflects the community it serves.”

Lynn Denning concurs, “The NHS is a huge organisation and there are roles ranging from porters to accountants, healthcare assistants, gardeners, to ambulance drivers and switchboard operators. The website tells people what training or qualifications are needed for each job and gives information on training and education providers in the region and a link to the NHS recruitment pages.

“There are also useful resources for teachers and careers advisors including on-line and interactive activities that help students focus and explore work areas that might be of interest. “To ensure that the web resource is useful to a wide variety of users we have worked closely with many partner organisations including the NHS, Job Centre Plus, Skills for Health, the Connexions Service, schools and colleges and young people to ensure that the resource is multifunctional and relevant to the people we want to reach.”

Amanda Shobrook (Workforce Manager) from the South West Strategic Health Authority says that the best thing about 'A day in the life' is the fact that it is a local repository that can be used by everyone, including people currently employed by the NHS. She said, “This brilliant resource enables people to access a fantastic source of information and includes key contacts. There is such a range of employment opportunity and what we have here is standardised information that takes the pressure off job support agencies. There was a demand for this help from various agencies like the Connexions Service, Job Centre Plus and careers services in schools.”


FFI: Jane Kelly or Mary Price, Press Officers


Tel: 0117 32 82208


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