England’s Chief Nurse has today called on young people to become NHS Cadets and gain valuable experience of volunteering in health and care.
The programme, launched last year, helps teenagers to develop the skills needed for an NHS career by volunteering in vaccine centres, supporting elderly people in the community and undertaking first aid training.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony for the first group of teenagers to complete the programme, the country’s top nurse Ruth May said they would be “welcomed with open arms” if they decide to pursue a career in healthcare.
The Chief Nursing Officer for England also urged all those receiving A-level results next week to consider a career in the NHS.
Ruth May said:
Those considering the NHS for their future career are asked to search ‘NHS Careers’ to find out more.
From September this year there will be more than 55 NHS Cadet programmes running across 30 sites, accepting more than 1,000 cadets on the foundation pathway for 14 to 16-year-olds, and around 500 on the new advanced pathway for 16 to18-year-olds.
Run in partnership by NHS England and St John Ambulance, the programme is seeking young people from underrepresented groups including those who are not in education, employment or training, have mental health conditions, come from low income families or are from ethnic minority backgrounds.
Young people also have the option of joining the St John Ambulance Cadets which also offers an exciting blend of training and practical experience to equip young people for a future in healthcare or other sectors.
From physiotherapists to dieticians, radiographers and psychotherapists, to chefs, IT technicians, research scientists and communications officers, there are more than 350 career options within the health service, all of which make a crucial difference to people’s lives.
Martin Houghton-Brown, Chief Executive of St John Ambulance, said:
In addition to Saturday’s (7 August) virtual ceremony the graduates will be presented with certificates listing the skills they have achieved which they can use for future education or job applications.
One of the cadets graduating from the programme is 17-year-old Faleeha Arobi from Bradford, who volunteered as a steward within a COVID-19 vaccination site.
Fellow cadet Jess Mitchell, who is 16 years old and lives in Bingley, added:
The core aim of the programme is to expand opportunities for young people from underrepresented communities, and it delivers on key objectives of the NHS Long Term Plan, including investing in the future frontline workforce.