The National Careers Week (NCW) celebrates career guidance for young people across the country, helping them to explore different career paths that match their interests. NCW provides a focus for careers guidance at an important stage in the academic calendar to ensure students get an insight into the future of work.
As this year’s NCW commences, the ‘We are the NHS’ campaign champions the extraordinary work of nurses, allied health professionals and healthcare support workers to inspire a new generation to embark on a career in the health service. Recruitment for the NHS has never been more vital. COVID-19 has increased interest in the incredibly rewarding careers available within the NHS with 5.1 million people accessing the NHS careers website during the pandemic; a 41% increase compared to the same period in 2019.
The campaign features real NHS workers, who are proud to showcase what it is about their role they love the most, and the opportunities available from a career in the NHS. The campaign shines a light on some of the most in-demand roles and what it’s really like to work in the NHS. Nurses, allied health professionals and healthcare support workers touch the lives of thousands, providing expertise, care and compassion when it matters most.
When Deborah Olusanya decided she wanted a career in medicine, she joined Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust’s Volunteers Programme, hoping the experience of working in a healthcare setting would support her university application. “It was about getting exposure ahead of my course,” says 18-year-old Deborah, who is one of the Trust’s youngest ever staff members. “I also wanted to do my bit to support the NHS during the highly pressured COVID-19 pandemic, especially as I could see on the news how stretched the clinicians were.”
With the skills she developed whilst volunteering, Deborah felt confident applying for a Healthcare Assistant, which she began last year. “I’ve gained essential skills such as how to read pulse rates, how to perform first aid and the moving and handling of patients,” shares Deborah. She is enjoying her new role at the NHS and its flexible nature means she can select shifts around her studies while completing her final year at school. In particular, Deborah is proud of how inclusive her workplace is. “RWT is a very diverse place and I’ve always felt respected and valued for my skills. I am quite young compared to my colleagues, but they’ve never made me feel as though I’m not capable. They’ve all been so welcoming.”
When Kayode Aderinwale’s niece was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, Kayode decided to switch his career in accounting to become a Learning Disability Nurse. “My placement with the Learning Disabilities Team at Guys and St Thomas Hospital exposed me to how people with learning disabilities are supported – both within the community and in hospital wards,” says Kayode. Now working at Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, Kayode is thriving in his new role. “It has been amazing how the team, which I am proudly part of, has been able to support people with disabilities during the pandemic,” he shares.
Kayode describes working for the NHS as a great privilege and encourages others to apply for the range of roles that are available. “If your goal is to create a positive impact on the lives of real people and you want to contribute your skills to making people’s lives better – then the NHS is the place for you,” says Kayode.
Whether you’re a school leaver, recent graduate or simply looking for a new challenge, there are many fulfilling roles available within the NHS that will allow you to make a real difference. To learn more about the campaign, search #WeAreTheNHS or visit NHS Careers to discover the range of roles currently available.