‘Lots more to do’ but evidence shows Jobs Hub is making a real difference

29 Jan 2024

The Health & Care Jobs Hub – a partnership of health and care providers and employment services coordinated by the south east London ICS People Programme, only started life back in April and launched its website in the autumn but the small Hub team is proud of the progress and the difference they’ve been able to make, since then.

Funded by the Mayor of London as part of the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) initiative to tackle unemployment, especially amongst underrepresented groups, the Hub initiative aims to support local people into work opportunities in health and social care – reflecting both the ICS and more recent NHS’s people strategies.

The Hub launched its website, Hub Online in October, with new online learning and employment support materials developed in collaboration with partners in health and care and featuring a selection of job vacancies supported by comprehensive signposting to partners’ job pages.

Hub Manager, Bach Luu Kaparia said, “Since October, over 250 candidates have signed up to Hub Online with many more job seekers enrolled on joint programmes we have underway with local college and employer partners.

“In addition to the online information, our Hub Team – Bianca Ferrante and Bill Davies, who started at the end of the summer – can provide in person as well as remote support to job seekers and support engagement activities with current and potential partners.

There’s a lot you can do online but nothing beats getting out in person into local communities and the team have met hundreds of people at jobs fairs, local Job Centres and other community venues.

The response has been incredibly positive. To date, we’ve engaged with almost 45 health and care employers and hundreds of community organisations through our networks so, we’re really grateful for everyone’s support.”

Hub Support Officer, Bianca Ferrante, at a careers fair
Hub Support Officer, Bianca Ferrante, at a careers fair

Hub Support Officer, Bianca Ferrante said, “We have job placement targets from the GLA but the Hub is about much more than that. We focus on dismantling barriers, particularly for individuals navigating some significant social and economic challenges.

I especially enjoy the face to face engagement at events like careers fairs, where I feel we really can make a difference in helping inform and reassure those who may feel uncertain about their future. It also gives us valuable insight into the hurdles people can face on their employment journey.”

One popular pathway into work and a notable success story for the Hub has been development of bespoke health and care sector-based work programmes or SWAP, with employers and local colleges including Lambeth, Southwark and Greenwich.

These six-week employability courses guarantee an interview for those completing the scheme. Six SWAP schemes have gone live so far and the Hub team now has commitment from all five SEL NHS Trusts to take part and offer interviews for successful candidates. So far forty-six candidates have been interviewed and 40 were offered a job.

Bianca added, “There’s lots more to do and as a small team we have to be mindful of pacing ourselves and avoiding over promising and under delivering. But it’s clear we’re starting to have an impact and it’s motivating to know that we’re not just helping people into work but also playing our part in helping our workplaces become more inclusive.”

The Health & Care Jobs Hub Support Team will be available at these locations over the next few months – offering free advice and information on jobs and training opportunities in health and care in SE London. No appointment is required and all are welcome:

31 January and 27 March, 10am to 3pm
Catford Library, Catford Centre, 23-24 Winslade Way, Catford SE6 4JU

7 February and 21 March, 10am to 3pm
Peckham Library, 122 Peckham Hill Street, Peckham, SE15 5JR

3 April and 15 May, 10am to 3pm
Woolwich Centre Library, 35 Wellington, Woolwich, SE18 6HQ

5 June and 24 July, 10am to 3pm
Thamesmead Library, The Nest Community Building and Library, 3 Cygnet Square, Thamesmead SE2 9FA