The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust – Project Choice
The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust uses the Gateshead College led Project Choice initiative to offer supported internships to people with learning difficulties or disabilities, and those with autism.
The trust HR projects team looks at entry level jobs and works with managers to ensure tasks can be clearly understood and the right learner supported into the role.
Reasonable adjustments are made to HR processes to support students during interviews and use alternative ways to assess their skills such as progress reports from job trials.
Managers at the trust now use Project Choice students as their first call for process-based work. Many have ideal skills for this, focusing for long periods and thriving in roles requiring accuracy.
Staff are trained to become mentors, helping Project Choice learners with their skills as well as integrating them into the team.
At this year’s HSJ Awards The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust won the Workforce category with their outstanding Project Choice initiative.
The picture in the winners’ supplement was incorrect and did not show the winning team. HSJ apologises to Newcastle FT.
Young people spend at least 10 weeks in a placement, and are given a work plan with key targets to enable them to achieve the goal of employment. Bespoke aids are designed to assist learning, such as image lists for memory tasks.
At the point of submitting this award entry, the trust had supported over 36 interns with 77 per cent going into employment.
Judges described the project as “exceptional” and “inspirational” and said it should be rolled out nationally.
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HSJ Awards 2015: Workforce