Representatives from the NHS, social care, local government, independent and voluntary sectors, trade unions and higher education institutions, have outlined an action plan to help newly qualified healthcare professionals find jobs.
The representatives from across the sectors were brought together at a summit organised by NHS Employers to discuss possible solutions.
Health service unions have claimed that many newly qualified nurses are unable to find jobs because trusts are cutting back on the number they employ to save money.
Sian Thomas, deputy director of NHS Employers, said: “It is crucial that we do everything we can to identify employment opportunities for newly qualified healthcare professionals and staff who are in the midst of change.
“The NHS is going through major re-structuring and facing financial challenges, and there is a responsibility on all employers to take steps to avoid losing talented people from the system.”
The action plan includes the following:
- A commitment for the sectors to work together at local level to plan the health and social care workforce
- An agreement to advertise entry posts that no longer require previous experience
- The creation of talent pools through NHS Jobs for newly qualified healthcare professionals or staff who are at risk
- An agreement to pilot ‘keep-in-touch’ programmes for newly qualified healthcare professionals so that employers can contact them directly when opportunities come up
- A commitment to explore the possibilities of ring-fencing jobs for newly qualified healthcare professionals
- An agreement to make sure that there is a better link at local level between how health services are going to change, and how they will plan the workforce required to deliver them.
Health minister Lord Hunt, who attended the summit, said: “I want the NHS to develop local solutions so that as many healthcare graduates as possible are employed, rather than impose any cast-iron directives from the centre.
“The consistent message that I have received from employers is that they need solutions which are flexible, locally driven and founded on partnerships between employers, staff and the higher education sector.”