Hospital recognised for helping people back to work

Employers at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital have been recognised with regional awards for helping get disadvantaged jobseekers back into work.

The awards held on March 20, hosted by former The Apprentice winner Tim Campbell at Ickworth House, near Bury St Edmunds, recognised the outstanding contributions made by employers, employees and partners involved with Jobcentre Plus in Local Employment Partnerships (LEPs).

The winners will also be automatically entered for the National LEP Awards to be held on June 9 at 1 Whitehall Place in London.

Facilities management firm Serco, which provides support services at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, won the overall Outstanding LEP Achievement prize as well as the Commitment to Diversity award for its open-door recruitment policy, which sees it actively look to employ ex-offenders and ex-homeless people.

Serco has also worked closely with Jobcentre Plus and local groups to give permanent jobs to four people, and offer work trials to others.

Serco sustainability manager, Chris Paul, said: “The LEP fits in with our philosophy and ethos. It makes sense to get people into work and make the most of what they have to offer.”

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was runner up in both the Unlocking Talent and Getting Back to Work award categories.

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust training manager Julia Watling said: “We have supported five work trials over the last year four leading to contracted employment. Our two week pre-employment training course gives an insight into the NHS prior to undertaking a work trial.''

LEPs are based on a “deal” with employers under which the Government, through Jobcentre Plus, takes steps to understand employers' requirements and gets disadvantaged people ready for work and employers with vacancies give people a fair shot at the job, through a range of measures such as adjusting recruitment processes, work trials, guaranteed interviews or mentoring.

Wednesday 25th of March 2009 01:00:16 AM