Employer Award

Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS FT

2017 Regional Winner

Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is committed to training and developing its 14,000 employees, delivering more than 700 in-house programmes each year.

The Trust also engages with Project Choice, a work-based learning programme for young people with learning difficulties, disabilities or autism. Working with Project Choice, the Trust supports local young people to gain essential work experience and trains staff to become mentors to support the young people during their placements.

Working in partnership with an education provider, the Trust has also introduced supported internships. These provide every learner with a positive and supportive introduction to working independently. The aim is for each learner to be ‘job ready’ on completion of their placement.

Together with Newcastle City Council, the Trust has devised an innovative approach to making apprenticeships accessible for young people with learning difficulties, disabilities or autism. Apprenticeship Plus provides learners with access to employment opportunities and personalised support during interviews. The young people gain entry level jobs, and the Trust, a committed workforce.

“Since introducing these learning programmes, we have seen an increased awareness of the skills and value that people with learning disabilities, disabilities and autism can offer, more diversity of our workforce, and higher staff engagement,” said Stephanie, Project Choice Programme lead.

“I had very low confidence. I went from thinking I really don’t think I can do this, to thinking I can do this. Now I have passed my qualifications my confidence has grown enormously,” said one learner.