North Bristol Trust becomes the first NHS organisation to receive the Work Experience Quality Standard

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

North Bristol NHS Trust has become the first NHS organisation to be honoured with the Work Experience Quality Standard.

The Chief Executive of charity Fair Train – which is behind the National Work Experience Quality Standard - Beth Gardner, visited Southmead Hospital Bristol to present the trust Chief Executive Andrea Young with a trophy to recognise the commitment to work experience.

The Work Experience Quality Standard is a national accreditation designed to recognise organisations with exemplary work experience provision; and also as a framework for development to help organisations plan, run and evaluate effective work experience programmes.

Ambassadors who joined the trust as staff following work experience placements were among those who celebrated the honour during Work Experience Week.

The trust works with partners, including Job Centre Plus and schools and colleges to offer work experience placements.

North Bristol NHS Chief Executive Andrea Young receives the Work Experience Quality Standard from Fair Train Chief Executive Beth Gardner

Gemma Wood, 23, who lives near Thornbury, first came to North Bristol NHS Trust for an eight-week work experience placement through Job Centre Plus and has now been with the trust for 18 months.

Having done her work experience placement Gemma joined the trust to undertake a level  2 apprenticeship.

"I thought work experience was a good opportunity so I went for it,” she said.

"I did the eight weeks work experience then got an apprenticeship. Having completed by level 2 apprenticeship while I have been here I am now working on level 3.

"Everyone's so proud of me at home and I'm proud of myself.”

Gosia Rosengary, 22, lives in Patchway and had been looking for a job when the opportunity of work experience came up through Job Centre Plus.

"I came here in January and now I am doing a level 2 apprenticeship in business and admin,” she said.

"I would definitely tell anyone else in the position I was to go for it."

As well as the recognition for adopting the Fair Train standards, North Bristol NHS Trust signed the Work Experience Week pledge showing its support for work experience in the UK.

Beth Gardner, Chief Executive of Fair Train, said: “Whilst most people recognise the need for young people to gain real Work Experience, currently only one in four employers offer it.

“The NHS is unique in the variety of Work Experience placements it can offer – North Bristol, for example, has placements from admin to prosthetics, and pathology to housekeeping, which is very impressive. Not only does this mean that multiple placements can be offered within one organisation, but also that young people can get a taste for the world of work and develop their skills in a specific area.”

North Bristol NHS Trust chief executive Andrea Young, said: “We are thrilled to be the first NHS organisation to be accredited with the Work Experience Quality Standard.

The young people who come to us on work experience and our team achieve amazing, in some cases significantly life-changing results. This is great recognition for their efforts.

Head of Learning and Development at North Bristol NHS Trust, Jane Hadfield, said: “This bronze award is a symbol of the quality of our work experience in North Bristol NHS Trust and we want to recognise the support of the workplaces – our wards and departments across our hospitals and community services.

“This is also a measure of the commitment of the NBT team and our partners and the engagement we have with our partner schools and colleges.”