Calling all school-leavers: Come and see what the NHS can offer you

Leaving school this summer? If you think working in the NHS is only for nurses and doctors, it’s time to reconsider your options.

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust is helping young people aged 16 to 24 find out more about the 322 different careers on offer in the health service.

The trust running Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital has set up three projects to give young people from different backgrounds an insight into opportunities in the NHS.

Rachael Pearce, the trust’s Senior Patient Experience and Engagement Officer, leads the Young Volunteers scheme, the Young Health Champions and the Pathway to Medicine scheme.

She said: “The NHS has so much more to offer young people. Young people are surprised when they find out about the fantastic opportunities available to them right here on their doorsteps.

“We can help anyone, from any background, and these schemes are about giving them that introduction and insight into careers they may not have considered in the past for whatever reason.”

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust has helped 260 school-leavers as part of its “Young Volunteers” programme since it was set up three years ago.

Many young people have since taken up apprenticeships at Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital or have gone into other health-related careers.

The programme, which pays young people travelling expenses as they gain vital work experience, has attracted national attention since it was launched three years ago and has now been introduced by other hospitals around the country.

A further 50 people aged 16 to 24 have also been signed up as Young Health Champions as part of a project reaching out to young people with depression, anxiety, social issues or conditions such as autism and ADHD.

Provided with a daily £3 lunch voucher and travel expenses, the young people attend a work placement three days a week in their chosen field in the hospital and go into a classroom setting to improve their skills in English, maths and IT one day a week.

They also spend a further day learning techniques to improve communication skills, team-working or motivation.

The Pathway to Medicine course supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the desire and ability to train as doctors.

Rachael Pearce said: “Many of these young people are more than capable of going to university to study medicine but it may be a path they have not been encouraged to take.

“We can show them their ambitions can become a reality and can provide that vital support in the early stages to help them take those first steps towards achieving their goals.”

Anyone interested in taking part in any of the three schemes should contact Rachael Pearce on 01482 675189 rachael.pearce@hey.nhs.uk or Lynn Jickells 01482 674668 lynne.jickells@hey.nhs.uk