Supported Traineeships at Central Manchester University Hospitals
As both an employer and a provider of NHS services to thousands of people every day, Central Manchester University Hospitals is committed to equal opportunities and to providing sustainable employment that supports local regeneration, prosperity and better communities.
As a part of these commitments we continue to identify key issues and implement initiatives that help us to address the barriers that local minority groups can sometimes face in securing employment.
Supported Traineeships are an example of this and are currently helping us to provide diverse and sustainable opportunities for young people with disabilities through skills training and potential employment. Year one outcomes are a reminder of this.
As an employer we have seen the following benefits from this initiative;
- Helped to promote equality and diversity values, 'moving beyond compliance'
- Demonstrate to staff and public a commitment to recognising the value and talents of every individual
- Enabled us to test the ability, commitment and suitability of potential employees to meet real business needs over a period of 10 weeks (length of trainee placement)
- Achieved excellent patient, staff and visitor feedback
- Increased team morale and confidence in disability issues
- Filled a range of vacancies with significantly lower recruitment costs
- Enabled us to put our equality and diversity strategy into action - we are learning because we are doing
- Helped us to mainstream good practice and reasonable adjustments such as working interviews, rather than the traditional 'over the table interview'
Developing Recruitment Practices
Changing culture, policy and practice is the best way to ensure that we continue to 'open the door' to disabled talent and make the recruitment and retention of people with disabilities an integral part of HR practice right across Central Manchester University Hospitals.
Working interviews have enabled department managers to assess a trainee's suitability for employment over a 10 week placement period with a combination of support from an Employment Advisor, Job Support Worker, and the natural supports often found within departments. John Schofield, Head of Information and Analysis at CMFT describes the benefits that year-2 trainee David has brought to his department during his recent placement.
Accessible Induction and Training
We have adapted the content of our standard induction to ensure that we can accommodate different learning styles. This is now open to other recruits to the organisation who prefer a more informal learning experience.
Here's a summary of the key lessons / success factors from our programme delivery so far;
- Build and continue to develop effective partnership working between the host employer, college and supported employment provider
- Secure appropriate resources - our delivery team includes a full time Tutor, Senior Employment Officer, Job Support Worker and 0.2 WTE Employment Initiatives Manager (Trust HR)
- Secure organisational buy-in - our programme is supported by a steering group, which draws upon wider-stakeholder expertise and benefits from board / senior level commitment within each partner organisation
- Regularly communicate the progress of the programme to hospital staff, managers and other stakeholders to build awareness, secure support and show how this work is connected to other HR and corporate strategies
- Involve trainees' families / carers throughout the process
- Ensure trainees and department managers continue to have access to support and specialist advice beyond the completion of the programme
- Engage with external employers and consider employer / networking events to open new placements and employment opportunities
- Don't panic if things don't go to plan! We are still learning and it's important if issues arise not to see this as a test or threat, but allow partners to work through any difficulties and to build knowledge and capacity for the future.
Central Manchester University Hospitals is happy to provide information and guidance to other NHS Trusts who are considering or developing plans to establish their own Traineeship programme. Please contact us for more information.
" One of the real benefits is that families and children feel inspired by seeing students with disabilities working in the hospital which motivates young people that there are employment opportunities for them. "- Royal Manchester Children's Hospital
" To hear that we've managed to get paid jobs for the trainees really emphasises the importance of the project "- Director of Regeneration & Charities CMFT
" Giving young people an opportunity to understand what work is all about is invaluable "- Public Govenor & Chair of Corporate Citizenship Committee at CMFT
" It works, we've demonstrated that it works and it solves problems for employers as well as solving problems for disabled people "- Head of Manchester Learning Disability Partnership