A “unique and innovative” Walsall employment programme involving whg, Walsall College, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust and the DWP has won a national award after supporting more than 100 people into work.
whg has been announced winners of the Resident Employment and Training award in the UK Housing Awards 2022 for its Work4Health programme, which has helped 121 local people secure jobs in healthcare.
The scheme, which was created in partnership with Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, Walsall College and the DWP, aims to overcome the barriers and obstacles felt by many jobseekers when looking for work. Designed specifically around jobs available within the trust, Work4Health combines skills training, work experience, application form support, mock interview practice and a guaranteed job interview for roles at Walsall Manor Hospital.
Judges praised the “unique and innovative programme” stating: “Its outcomes are impressive, especially in terms of the diversity of residents recruited to NHS jobs from the most deprived communities”.
Fay Shanahan, Corporate Director of Operations at whg, said: “We know how important having a secure, high quality job is to a person’s health and wellbeing, and this programme is having a huge impact on the lives of people who may have otherwise struggled to gain employment.
“These are real jobs that are transforming the lives of our customers and helping to lift them out of poverty. A huge thanks to all our partners who have worked with us to make this programme a success.”
Helen Billings, Workforce and Organisational Development Lead for Walsall Together, said: “This is one of our really successful examples of partnership working and the positive impact for both the people of Walsall, who are gaining training, development and employment, and the Trust who are seeing the benefits from a recruitment perspective. We are really keen as a partnership to look at how we can expand on this and spread learning to other employers such as the care sector.”
Marsha Belle, Head of Organisational Development and Culture at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “For us, the greatest reward is supporting people to be the best they can be by taking small steps, having the confidence to apply for, be interviewed and be successful, to build a career with us at Walsall Healthcare Trust. National recognition means that this work and the difference it makes to people can be seen first-hand.”
James Norris, Assistant Principal for Commercial Development at Walsall College added: “This award recognition is testament to Work4Health’s success as a collaborative programme, delivering employer-led training and tailored support to help people secure in-demand roles.
“The percentage of the working population who are out of work is consistently higher in Walsall compared to the rest of the West Midlands region. This means our ongoing commitment to boosting skills and employability will impact further on the aspirations, achievements and prosperity of local individuals, businesses and our wider communities.”