Widening participation

Widening Participation is an agenda that supports workforce planning and development of staff across the NHS.

Widening Participation aims to: 

  • widen access and opportunity of learning, development and employment opportunities within Bands 1-4
  • promote the wide range of careers and progression routes available within healthcare through information and guidance
  • involve healthcare staff in learning by developing learning cultures

NHS West Midlands has identified several workstreams within the Widening Participation agenda which include;

  • 14-19 Agenda
  • Access to work
  • Apprenticeships
  • Assistant Practitioners

The Trust’s commitment to the Widening Participation agenda aims to:

  • Support individuals with information, advice and guidance on the opportunities for training and jobs within the Trust
  • Improve access to employment opportunities and in developing employability skills
  • Facilitate work related learning opportunities and work experience placements
  • Promote Apprenticeship opportunities
  • Enable individuals to promote personal development and wellbeing
  • Collaborate with key stakeholders to increase and diversify resources to support widening participation opportunities

For further information on widening participation or any of the above workstreams, please contact the Learning & Development Team on 01283 511511 Ext 2308.


Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust work sin partnership with Job Centre Plus and its local FE College to ensure that training and recruitment opportunities are open to people who are at a disadvantage in the labour market and to support local unemployed people into jobs within the NHS.

Who is it for?

If you are currently unemployed, on Job Seekers Allowance and:

  • Have been thinking about working in the NHS but are not sure what opportunities are open to you
  • Would like to return to work but are unsure about what sort of job you could do
  • Have been trying to get a job in care but have not yet been successful
  • Are looking for a new direction and want to make a difference
  • Want a career that will keep you interested throughout your working life, but are not sure where to start

What does it involve?

  • Screening process - 1 day

    Candidates are selected to attend by Job Centre Plus.
    The day incorporates team building exercises, an overview of the role of the Trainee vacant post and a brief interview.
    If successful, selection takes place to attend a one week pre employment training programme.
  • Pre employment training – 1 week

    This will be structured around the specific vacancy. For example, for a Trainee Health Care Assistant the training may include a range of training opportunities such as Health and Safety, Interview and application techniques, Manual Handling, First aid and Patient centred care.
  • Interview

    If the training week is successfully attended, an interview is guaranteed alongside the other candidates applying for that position.
  • Work Trial – maximum of 30 days

    If candidates are successful at interview, they then undertake a work trial. During this time they are not paid or employed and still receive Jobseekers Allowance.

What is a work trial?

A Work Trial offers the Trust time to find out how well suited a person is to a job, the culture and its workforce, as well as giving a potential employee the time to decide if a job is right for them.

More than half of all jobs beginning with a Work Trial have led to the candidate being offered a job for the longer term.

The Trust can offer a job at the end of the trial if satisfied with overall performance.

The Trust has now delivered three successful programmes for Trainee Health Care Assistant vacancies and here are what some of our successful candidates have to say about their experiences.

  • GEM Going that extra mile
  • Top 40 Hospital Winner
  • NHS Choices
  • Urdu Polski
  • Burton Clinic