Gold level NHS Trust holds open day to celebrate Work Experience Week 2016

Councillor Julien Parrott, Mairead McAlinden Chief Executive of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust (TSDFT), Kevin Foster MP for Torbay, Jessica Rexworthy Head of Learning and Skills at Fair Train with staff from TSDFT.
Councillor Julien Parrott, Mairead McAlinden Chief Executive of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust (TSDFT), Kevin Foster MP for Torbay, Jessica Rexworthy Head of Learning and Skills at Fair Train with staff from TSDFT.

18 October 2016

As part of Work Experience Week 2016, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust hosted a Healthcare Careers and Work Experience event on 14 October to celebrate the achievements of learners in Torbay and South Devon and to showcase the many opportunities available.

The Trust creates opportunities for around 300 learners every year and recently achieved Gold Level in Fair Train’s national Work Experience Quality Standard*. The celebration event included a business breakfast meeting for managers, an open event for local schools and members of the public, presentation of individual and team awards and presentation of the recently achieved Fair Train accreditation.

Jessica Rexworthy, Head of Learning and Skills at Fair Train, commented: “Work experience is vital for learners of all ages – from school leavers to those who are long term unemployed – in helping individuals get closer to the labour market and secure employment. It is also vital for businesses, as it allows them to develop a diverse talent pipeline and recruit employees who have a range of well-developed employability skills.

“Work Experience Week provides a platform to celebrate these successes and allows organisations such as Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust to commend their employees who not only are making a difference to the lives of individuals but also leading the way in developing high quality work experience provision.”

Schools and colleges no longer have a legal requirement to provide work experience to all of their learners, which has led to patchy provision and a ‘postcode lottery’ when it comes to quality. This means that certain sectors are experiencing severe skills shortages combined with an ageing workforce.

Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust is helping to change this by offering jobseekers the opportunity to find out about the opportunities available in the many different departments at the Trust, and demonstrating the difference a high quality placement can make to an individual’s employment prospects and to their life in general.

Chief Executive of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, Mairead McAlinden, said: “One of our Trust’s objectives is to be a good employer and value our staff – today I am enormously proud to be part of the celebration of our Employability Hub’s success in achieving gold standard accreditation for work experience, particularly as this is the first year we have been evaluated by Fair Train.

“We have not delivered this on our own and we would not have achieved this without our close partnership working with our local schools, Torbay Council, South Devon College and South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group – my sincere thanks to everyone involved for going the extra mile to accomplish this award.

“Work experience is just one aspect of our Employability Hub; we are committed to promoting a culture that actively values difference and recognises that people from different backgrounds and experiences bring valuable contributions and enhance the way we work. Our vision is to have a diverse and highly skilled workforce to provide excellent care to our local population.”

Kevin Foster, MP for Torbay, added: “I am really pleased to see the Trust get this accreditation, marking the quality of the work experience it offers. For many, work experience is their first chance to see exactly what a future career might entail and to be inspired about what they could be doing in just a few years’ time. At a time when there are so many career opportunities available in health and social care work, it is all the more important that the next generation is able to get gold standard work experience in this field.”


* Fair Train, a national charity, is the owner of the national Work Experience Quality Standard accreditation and the Group Training Association (GTA) for the voluntary and community sector. They promote workforce development and champion all forms of high quality work experience including traditional work placements, vocational training, volunteering internships, Traineeships and Apprenticeships.


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