More than 130 people were given new opportunities in the workplace by taking part in NHS Tayside’s Employability Services programme over the past year.
The Employability Services programme is marking a successful year with the publication of its Annual Report for 2016-17.
The report outlines the programme’s progress over the last year, including the success of its continuing partnerships with local organisations and a number of new initiatives planned for the coming year.
NHS Tayside’s Employability Services provides a range of health and social care pre-employment programmes, work experience opportunities and education and training for people who may not have considered care as a career or who may have had a history of being far from the job market. It aims to help people improve their individual employment prospects and help them begin careers with health, social care or other care sector employers.
The programmes are developed in partnership with NHS Tayside, the Department of Work and Pensions, Skills Development Scotland, Dundee & Angus College, Perth College:UHI, Angus, Dundee and Perth & Kinross Councils, as well as the independent and voluntary sector.
Karl Boeckeler is one of the Employability Programme’s success stories.
After completing a course with Employability Services, Karl is now working as a health care assistant as part of NHS Tayside’s Nurse Bank.
Karl said, “When I was in my twenties, I really wanted a career where I could help people, but I didn’t know where to look, and life goes on, so I got a job in engineering at RAF Leuchars and worked steadily there until the site was winding down.
“The horizon for me was pretty empty then but the Jobcentre got in touch with information that an Employability Services course would be running in Dundee and I immediately signed up for the information session. As soon as I learned a little more about the course, I was keen. I wasn’t sure if I could get onto the course but I was happy to get a place.”
Karl said he enjoyed the course and is now using the skills he learned in his job.
“I was excited to be on the course,” Karl said. “Getting to know everyone at the beginning with the Skills Development Scotland team really helped. On the course, getting the certificates was really important and the placements were crucial. Being part of a team that delivers care meant so much and all the placement staff were so helpful. All the work we did on the course was priceless and has allowed me to move into a care job.
“It’s taken a while to get back to the ambition I had when I was younger, but here I am with a new road stretching in front of me and I know I’m up to the challenge.”
Employability Services aim to continue to address issues related to deprivation and ill health, by contributing to the overall long term health of the region through the creation of employment and development opportunities.
Over the last year, a number of employability and qualification-based programmes took place across Tayside, including courses on social work and health, business and administration and engagement with the Youth Agenda. Placements were also offered by various departments in NHS Tayside, local authorities and in the independent and voluntary sector. The service will continue to promote and provide opportunities in all programmes.
Munwar Hussain, Chair of NHS Tayside Employability Services steering group, said, “I have been fortunate to see how the Employability Services programmes make a real difference to lives. By offering opportunities for individuals to gain experience from structured placements, it can provide routes back to employment and qualifications that allow individuals to meet their employability goals.
“NHS Tayside is committed to providing opportunities for individuals to experience or undertake work placements within NHS Tayside and partners through programmes that are delivered by our Employability Services Department.
“I would also like to express my thanks to all our placement providers for their ongoing commitment and support in providing exciting opportunities for participants as part of the Employability Services programme.”