Ambulance service plans to boost minority numbers

London Ambulance Service is set to double the number of technicians it
recruits with an advertising campaign targeted at minority groups.

The service is working with Barkers Human Resource Advertising on the
campaign. Barkers has run campaigns for the Metropolitan Police with one
leading to 3,000 enquiries and 161 job offers.

Wendy Foers, the service’s HR director, said she hopes funding for the
campaign will be approved within weeks. She said, "We appoint 150
ambulance technicians a year just to stand still. In the next financial year we
are looking to recruit up to 300.

"We must recruit from minority groups so we can fill posts and be representative
of the diversity in the London workforce."

Foers said the service is planning a three- or four-year strategy.

She said in some London boroughs the ethnic minority population is as high
as 50 per cent, while the service has a percentage of only 5 or 6 per cent.
"We have the commitment and we are determined to do it," she added.

Barkers’ research and planning director Nick Holker said campaigns need to
stress an employer’s long-term commitment to employing minorities.

Campaigns that rely on one burst of high-profile publicity risk being seen
as tokenism, he said. "You need to be laying out your stall over a period
of time. You don’t need to be highly creative – something quite small, low-key
but actually connecting with that group can be very effective."

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