DOZENS of people have been given the opportunity to build a career in healthcare with City Hospitals Sunderland after getting a start through the Future Jobs Fund (FJF) programme.
Half of the 88 people who have so far completed their temporary contract at the hospitals since the start of last year have been given either temporary or permanent jobs filling vacancies within the health trust, along with training and recognised qualifications.
New starters have been working in areas such as healthcare, administration, catering and laundry.
Trust workforce development and education manager Dennis Little said: “I know the FJF is due to come to an end this year, but from our perspective it has been a great success. Our managers have been delighted by the standard of the trainees we have hired and the enthusiasm and motivation they have shown.
“Far from being people who did not want to work, we have found the trainees were individuals desperate for a chance to work and the opportunity to gain experience and training.
“One of our trainees who came here as a healthcare assistant went on to gain a university place to become a registered nurse, while others have gone on to find jobs elsewhere or places at college.”
Of the 45 FJF trainees currently at the hospital, some have already been offered jobs with the trust when their programme ends, and others may secure employment as suitable vacancies arise during their placements.
The FJF programme is targeted at helping people, unemployed for longer than six months, into temporary work, primarily in the voluntary, community and public sectors.
Delivered by the Tyne and Wear City Region Employment and Skills Partnership, the FJF aims to create 3,450 temporary jobs between October 2009 and March this year to give young jobseekers the chance to gain experience and learn new skills.
“We have always said to people that we believe it is not just about qualifications, but it is about being the right kind of person to work in healthcare, and about having the right attitude to reach your potential,” said Dennis Little..
“The FJF programme has not only given people the confidence to succeed, but in some cases it has actually given them a new life.”
Coun Bryan Charlton is Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Prosperous City: “The Future Jobs Fund is a great example of organisations across the city working together,” he said.