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Health Sector Employability Toolkit

In 2009, Skills for Health in partnership with the Alliance of Sector Skills Councils, Jobcentre Plus and the Learning and Skills Council, developed a Sector Employability Toolkit to assist health sector employers to find sustainable solutions to one of their most challenging areas of recruitment. Initial entry level posts have historically been not only hard to fill but also subject to high turnover rates.

Through a Local Employment Partnership (LEP) sector employers and a training provider, the sector can benefit from entrants who have completed contextualised pre-employment training and have proved that they are job ready, prior to being recruited into a paid role.

The SET builds upon the best, evidence based, HR practices, for example, the importance of "recruitment processes" not only seeking to "select and recruit" but also "attract and impress" which will lead, in turn, to improved retention.

This toolkit includes:

  • An employability checklist to identify attitudes, skills and behaviour expected at point of entry
  • Guidance and resources for use in selection processes, including interviews and assessments
  • Resources (training plans, timetables, materials and handouts) needed to deliver a contextualised five week pre-employment programme. This consists of two weeks off the job training and three weeks work trial, equipping individuals with the skills required to enter employment.

The content of the toolkit has been tailored to meet the specific needs of the health sector and has been linked to the Knowledge and Skills Framework, National Occupational Standards and national standards for adult literacy and numeracy.

Benefits of using the Sector Employability Toolkit:

  • Provides a proven reduction in recruitment and retention costs for entry level posts
  • Participants enter employment 'job ready' and motivated, having proved themselves able employees in the work trial
  • Provides an opportunity to overcome difficult areas of recruitment
  • Promotes the organisation as an employer of choice within the local community
  • Allows you to develop partnerships to gain access to a wider pools of candidates and funding streams
  • Is locally adaptable to needs of the employer.

Who is the Sector Employability Toolkit for and when should it be used?

Workforce planners and human resources personnel can use the employability toolkit in the following ways:

  • To recruit hard to fill entry level vacancies. Although, the toolkit has also been used by some organisations to successfully fill healthcare assistant (level two) roles
  • When having difficulty recruiting from your local community using traditional methods
  • When you need to ensure your workforce reflects the diversity of your local community
  • When suffering high turnover in entry level posts the toolkit can be used to reduce this