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Women’s and Children’s Aspire youth employability programme strikes gold

An innovative youth employment scheme at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust has been highlighted for its efforts in helping young people into the world of work.

 The Aspire programme has been awarded Youth Employment UK’s Talent Match Gold Award, which recognises and celebrates outstanding employers who support those taking their first career steps.

 Designed by young people for young people, the pioneering programme was launched in December 2014 and has since helped hundreds from the West Midlands into the world of work - equipping them with the skills and experience needed to embark on their journeys into healthcare.

 The project offers a host of opportunities for those aged between 14 and 24, including internships, traineeships, work experience and apprenticeships, as well as an employability programme for those with learning disabilities.

 Rachael Smith, Training and Apprenticeships Lead at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said:

 “We couldn’t be more proud to have been presented with our Gold Award. It’s not easy to secure such a prestigious commendation and it’s thanks to the hard work of our team and the wonderful young people we work with that we can continue to be a youth friendly employer.

 “We have high hopes that this award will inspire even more young people to look into a career in healthcare and it’s great that we have another award to help put our Trust on the map as an organisation that champions the input and ideas of young people.”

 The award comes after Aspire’s efforts secured Birmingham Children’s Hospital the title of Youth Friendly Large Employer of the Year in 2015, along with being shortlisted for a Health Service Journal (HSJ) award last year in the Workforce category.

 Lucy Smith, from Halesowen, an Intern in the Corporate Nursing team at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said:

 “I’m really pleased that Aspire has been recognised for the amazing work the team does. The amount of support they offer you is brilliant and they really encourage you to make the most of your time here.

 “My internship has given me so much experience already and I'd learnt and developed so many more skills just in the first two weeks of my job here alone.

 “These skills will be something that potential employers will be looking for and by the end of my internship I know I’ll have plenty of examples which showcase everything I’ll have learnt at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s.”​​

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