The NHS and our wider health and care services are under great pressure and working hard to recruit staff into a range of jobs, including key front-line roles. The NHS across South London is looking to support potential candidates to be ‘job ready’ before they apply and to provide routes into clinical and other roles for staff already working in health and care settings.
The Verve Communications team designed and developed Start-Here as a digital platform to connect local people wishing to pursue their careers in health and social care, supported through the Adult Education Budget in London.
A digital platform with a single enquiry form that routes learners intelligently to more than 20 NHS organisations and 17 colleges across 12 South London boroughs.
A priority is to attract people into the many NHS Apprenticeship roles available and help them develop the skills they need to become an apprentice.
For example, many NHS Apprenticeships require trainees to have English, Maths, or IT qualifications at Level 2.
In addition, Start-Here supports NHS trusts to work with organisations including the Prince’s Trust to enable young applicants to become ‘job ready’.
The longer-term ambition is to position Start-Here as an apprenticeship and learning development hub for Southeast and Southwest London.
The Verve Communications team worked with trusts and learning providers for over 5 months, developed a toolkit to promote this to existing staff, and focused digital marketing campaigns to route potential applicants to the bespoke platform.
We developed a whole-system approach:
- A digital platform with a single enquiry form which routed learners and potential applicants to the right training, support and opportunities – intelligently depending on their location and current employment across 12 South London boroughs.
- Co-designed with NHS apprenticeship and training leads, as well as learning providers and internal communications leads across more than 20 NHS organisations and 17 colleges, specialist providers, and 3 trade union training departments.
- A communications toolkit for use in NHS trusts and digital marketing campaign with an active follow up.
Toolkit – co-designed to support local NHS Trust HR and communication teams
In its first year, the platform received over 1000 enquiries about training courses. Candidates were routed to more than 17 different learning providers.
Digital marketing campaign – more than 1000 enquiries during the first 12 months
What stands out is how Start-Here has become a hub where employers develop their workforce and people can take charge of their careers.
We are now piloting a wider offer, working with a hospital trust, mental health trust and the London Ambulance Service, with a structured set of ‘pathways’ for learners interested in applying for apprenticeships, for existing staff who wish to develop skills – and to route potential candidates to support which can help them move into NHS Careers.
Our work with Start-Here is making a difference in South London and inspiring the next generation of health and social care staff to be proactive about their development and realise their ambitions.