Taking part in a new careers initiative could help NHS organisations raise their profile among job seekers

A new careers initiative called icould is building an archive of thousands of films of people talking about how they ended up in their current job.

Managed by the Career Development Organisation, the project aims to create a base of at least 1,000 stories by its official launch in January 2009.

By taking an hour out of your schedule or encouraging your employees to give their time to talk to the specially trained story-gathering teams, NHS staff can help create what the developers hope will be the biggest careers resource of its kind.

According to the Career Development Organisation, the resource provides the opportunity to:

  • let your employees tell young people what it is really like to work in the healthcare sector and how great it is to be part of your organisation;

  • invest in the future of your industry by encouraging young people to join your profession;

  • help equip those wanting to start work with the skills they need for jumping into the modern world of work;

  • show there is no set path to success - and that it is OK to have a career history full of twists and turns, right and wrong decisions.

These stories are intended to give a warts and all overview, helping young people make informed career choices. The initiative is now looking for stories from the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry - including medical staff, support staff and managers - to pass on their knowledge and to give an insight into how they got to where they are today. It will also be an opportunity for employees and employers to identify the skills shortages and gaps in the industry.

Difficult choices

Programme director David Arnold says: "Young people have never before faced so much choice and yet so many challenges when it comes to making decisions about their future. Should they go to university? Do they need to decide on a career path now or should they wait and see what opportunities come their way? Is an apprenticeship the way forward? How will the current credit crunch affect them?

"What we hope to do at icould is offer them the benefit of the experience of those people who really know about this sector - from those who've worked their way up from the bottom or joined at a later stage to those who have always wanted to be part of the industry.

"But to make this resource the success we feel it deserves to be, we need as many stories as possible from as many different people as possible. Much mention is made of corporate responsibility or giving something back and by encouraging your employees to come forward (or your employers for that matter) to share their stories you can be giving something to the next generation of workers that will help sustain your industry well into the future."

To find out more, go to www.skillsactive.com