Work Experience and the NHS

To celebrate 70 years of the NHS, our intern from Queen Mary University of London has written a blog about the importance of work experience within the healthcare sector:

Work experience allows a young person to explore and be submerged into the world of work, gaining experience and awareness regarding future ambitions. Work experience in the health sector does not just provide knowledge and experience, but also allows the employers to develop their future workforce by engaging with young people and getting them interested. Work experience in the health sector can provide an individual with a ‘tool kit’, preparing one for the world of work.

Work experience is considered essential before applying to a role in the healthcare sector. Being able to explore and understand how the healthcare system works, the roles within healthcare, and the responsibilities of each role is beneficial for a young person wanting to apply to and pursue a career in healthcare.

The healthcare sector is considered a pretty ‘closed field’, with it being regarded an elite or privileged in society. Work experience allows medical applicants to stand out from the crowd. Getting relevant experience is one of the most important things you can do to help you find a career in health.

A case study of how work experience has developed into a career in the NHS is a Targeted Health Outreach Worker, Lily Hatcher, who started a work experience role at the Hackney ARK centre. The role involved providing services and support to disabled young people aged 14-19 years who are not eligible for children or adult services. Consequently, she was offered a permanent position because of her hard work and dedication during her period of work experience. Lily had taken part in several different work experiences, all related to and involving work surrounding children with learning disabilities and autism, both with the NHS and other private companies. She said:

“Work experience allowed me to explore and confirm that this was the career path that I wanted to go down. Work experience enabled me to build the skills and confidence required in the role of a Targeted Health Outreach Worker”

Tower Hamlets EBP recognises the value of work experience within an institution like the NHS and the role that work experience in the NHS has in shaping the future of the workforce.