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NHS Employers explores synergies with armed forces at new careers fair

NHS Employers has held a careers fair to help members of the Armed Forces community find jobs and training opportunities in the health sector. The event connected close to 100 current and former Armed Forces personnel and their family members with around 20 NHS Trusts from across the country. 


The careers fair was led by Step into Health, an initiative that seeks to connect people from the Armed Forces community to employers in the NHS. Step into Health is an initiative from NHS Employers that was officially launched in January by His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, in partnership with the Royal Foundation, Walking with the Wounded, Health Education England and NHS Improvement.


The event was held at Horizon Leeds, the first purpose-built conference centre for NHS and health organisations in the north of England. It was held as part of NHS Employers’ corporate social responsibility initiatives. An NHS recruitment team delivered presentations to help attendees understand the broad range of employment options and apprenticeships in the NHS. 


Step into Health organisations also hosted workshops on specific career areas and held mock job interview sessions. Charity sector organisations which support the Armed Forces community were also present.


In July, the NHS Confederation, which NHS Employers is a part of, signed the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Armed Forces Covenant, joining more than 1,500 forces-friendly organisations who pledge to support those who serve or have served in the military. Organisations who want to participate in the MoD’s Employer Recognition Scheme must sign the Armed Forces Covenant.


Danny Mortimer, Chief Executive of NHS Employers, says: “Research shows that NHS organisations greatly value employing members of the country’s Armed Forces. 


“We frequently hear from Trusts that ex-service men and women come ready with vital skills such as leadership, adaptability, resilience, and the ability to work well under pressure.


“The work we do to support our veterans, reservists and their families is the very least we can do in return for their selfless bravery and sacrifice.”


David Wiseman, Head of Armed Forces Programmes at The Royal Foundation says: “From the very first moment of this project it was clear the synergy between the NHS and the Armed Forces community would create an amazing opportunity for both sides.


“Veterans and their families bring unique skills, dedication and experience, while the NHS thrives on team work, leadership and commitment. Bringing military and healthcare together, the two great giants of public service in Britain, is proving to make a significant difference to both the veterans and the people their new jobs in the NHS are designed to help.”


There are an estimated 2.6 million military veterans in the UK – and 900,000 of them are estimated to be of working age. Additionally, around 14,000 men and women leave the UK Armed Forces each year.


In 2018 the following Trusts received Gold awards for their participation in the MoD’s Employer Recognition Scheme:

- East of England Ambulance Service

- Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

- University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

- Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

- NHS Orkney

- Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

- NHS Hastings and Rother CCG 

- NHS Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford CCG

- Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Trust 

- The Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust


Click here to find out more and to join the MoD’s Employer Recognition Scheme.