23/09/2004

NHS recruitment drive to focus on over 50s

A new nationwide drive to recruit NHS staff, which will focus for the first time on the over 50s, has been was launched today.

NHS Job Shop Day comprises of 220 events taking place around the country on or around 23 September. Around 150 Jobcentres across England will also be holding special NHS events on 23 September as part of NHS Job Shop Day.

For the first time the recruitment drive will target the over 50s and those who may be considering changing their career in later life.

The drive comes on the back of the NHS being named last week as one of the top employers in the country. The Times Top 100 Graduate Careers Survey listed the NHS in fifth place - up from ninth last year and 27th in 2002.

Health Secretary John Reid said that record numbers of staff had been joining the NHS. Since 1997, more than 77,000 new nurses and more than 19,000 new doctors have joined the service, he said.

To mark NHS Job Shop Day, NHS Careers is launching two new websites - Experience Matters and Bright Futures - detailing a whole range of careers across the NHS but particularly designed to appeal to two distinct groups.

Experience Matters is aimed at older people who could bring their existing skills into the NHS while Bright Futures targets young people including school leavers and graduates.

Mr Reid said: "There's never been a better time to work in the NHS. The NHS can offer great careers both for young people and those with more experience, with jobs that fit around people's lives and provide fantastic development potential.

"NHS Job Shop Day enables people of all ages and experience to meet and talk to local staff face-to-face about their careers, and about the benefits of working in today's NHS, such as flexible working and training opportunities."

'Bright Futures' www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/brightfutures goes live to celebrate NHS Careers National Job Shop Day on 23 September, whilst 'Experience Matters' www.nhs.uk/careers/experiencematters will go live one week later on 8 October.

(gmcg/mb)

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