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Traineeships in practice: A case study


New research has shown how effective traineeships can be – for both employers and employees.

At Swatpro we’ve long known the benefits accrued from the traineeship schemes run by our experienced, accredited training partners.

Now, we have some figures to back the anecdotal evidence, courtesy of research from Accenture, a global consultancy firm, commissioned by Health Education England (HEE).

Accenture studied the benefits of traineeships and employability programmes at a number of NHS organisations including North Bristol NHS Trust, a Swatpro partner.

The study found staff who came to the Trust through this route stayed longer in their jobs, had lower sickness absence rates and were more committed to their roles than compared with those recruited via alternative recruitment channels. North Bristol NHS Trust offers eight-week placements, with a fortnight “bedding in” period followed by a six-week sector-based work academy element. One day each week will be taken by studying for a Level 1 City & Guilds in employability skills.

After this, trainees are offered an interview with the Trust, although there is no obligation to be taken on.

James Orpin, lead for Functional Skills, Careers and Work Experience at the Trust, says: “This is an ideal opportunity to get a candidate into a team and give them some experience, whilst assessing whether they might be suitable for a longer term or substantive paid contract within an area.

“It also helps to boost candidates’ confidence in the workplace and gives them vital career building experience and skills for their CV.”

The research found that more than three-quarters of the trainees not only felt “committed or very committed” to the role they had placements in, but also 92% expected to spend more than two years in their post.

Additionally, 83% of programme participants said that they looked forward to going to work. Across all trusts, the average employee response to that question was only 59%. From an employer point-of-view, the traineeship scheme was a success.

An impressive 85% of hiring managers found those recruited either met or exceeded their expectations. In today’s economic climate, it is also important to note that all clinical managers surveyed said the scheme had saved them on agency hiring costs.

James Orpin notes: “We have had some fantastic success stories through our traineeship programme and the majority of those who have completed the programme have gone on to gain substantive posts and many are still working in the Trust.

“We have seen people come on to the programme having been out of employment and very low on confidence, and in the space of 8 weeks, really make a good impression and build their confidence through our support and the support of their work areas.”

In their latest intake, 5 of the 6 trainees have been recruited on longer contracts and the sixth is awaiting an interview.

Accenture’s analysis found the Trust spent around £60,000 a year on employability programmes, with benefits of approximately £450,000 over a five year period, compared with alternative methods of recruitment. The Trust recruits clinical and administrative staff via the programme.