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School leavers train as carers as EU migration falls

February 11, 2020

The NHS in England is hiring 10,000 school leavers given training by the Prince's Trust charity.

The new staff will go some way towards solving the shortage caused by rising demands on the service and falling EU migration.

The trust's research suggests there is concern among public-sector employers that jobs are becoming harder to fill.

The new staff will work in non-clinical jobs although some may train as nurses or doctors eventually.

"There are lots of young people who struggle to access the kinds of careers and opportunities that we offer and the opportunity of this partnership is to reach out to those young people," NHS Employers chief executive Danny Mortimer told BBC News.

In Birmingham, where the NHS is the city's biggest employer, training of the new staff is well under way, with some already in post.


Nursing ambitions


Roisin Brown, 24, has a new job as a health-care assistant on a cancer ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham's biggest.

She was referred to the Prince's Trust after struggling to find work once she had re-taken her English GCSE at a further education college.

She said: "If you want to go into nursing but don't feel like university is something that you want to do or something that you feel like you could possibly do, then try different avenues.

"I could work and build up to become a nurse eventually."

  • EU net migration to the UK falls to lowest level since 2003

  • Young people told - become a care worker

  • EU migration: How has it changed the UK?

A YouGov poll of 1,000 managers across all sectors, conducted in September 2019 for the Prince's Trust but not yet been published, found 63% of those in the public sector believed there was currently a skills shortage in their area.

Prince's Trust chief executive Dame Martina Milburn said: "Some employers use recruitment processes that make it hard for them to fill vacancies as well as making it hard for young people to get their first job.

"It is vital that employers start thinking about recruitment differently."


The trust also hopes to train young people for the social-care sector, which employers fear suffers because it doesn't carry the same prestige as the NHS.

The training organisation Skills for Care estimates there is a shortage of 11,500 staff in adult social care in the West Midlands region alone.

Jagdeep Khatkar, director of Oakview care home, in the Birmingham suburb of Quinton, has begun to hire younger staff from his home city.

He said: "The sector has had a bit of a PR issue in the past.

"It's important that we now appeal to the younger people in particular and show that there is a real career path for young people to follow."

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