Experience Nursing: NHS Partners with Speakers for Schools and The Talent Foundry to widen reach


Men and Minority Groups targeted in outreach programme

Male nurse image

Young people from across the country will take part in vital work experience placements, insight days and workshops with the NHS as part of a drive to recruit 50,000 new nurses.

Speakers for Schools, The Talent Foundry and the Perceptions of Nursing, Nursing Ambassador Network are teaming up to offer the placements to 3000 young people across England to tackle misconceptions and stereotypes around nursing, to inspire more young men and minority groups to join the profession.

The NHS is looking for people who previously wouldn’t have considered a career in nursing, highlighting the competitive starting salary and opportunities for both personal and professional growth. Different skills are needed for the variety of roles available, from science, technology and innovation to leadership, management and collaboration.

Speakers for Schools is running a series of virtual insight days and inspiring talks between January and March to provide insights into the variety of roles, as well as organising a week of virtual work experience during February half term for 1350 students aged 14 +.

The first virtual insight day, which takes place on Thursday 21st January, will feature nurses working across a range of disciplines. Students can find out more about the profession, the key skills needed, and how they can start to develop them. Opportunities are listed at https://www.s4snextgen.org/sign-up

The Talent Foundry works with around 80,000 teenagers every year from disadvantaged backgrounds and starting in January, the charity will be running 50 interactive workshops in schools across England. The focus of these sessions is to dispel and debunk the myths about the sector, and to encourage more young people to consider a career in nursing. The NextGen Nurse workshops will reach around 1,500 young people aged 14+.

The Talent Foundry will also be running a series of online masterclasses centred around different fields of nursing, with a particular focus on community nursing, mental health nursing and learning disability nursing. Find out more about the Talent Foundry here.

Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for NHS England and NHS Improvement said “Nursing is one of the most varied professions in the world and we want to make sure the next generation of nurses have the wide range of skills needed. Our work experience and insight days will show young people the exciting opportunities that a career in nursing can offer and we want to encourage men and BAME communities to sign up and take part.”

Jason Elsom, CEO, Speakers for Schools, said: “We are thrilled to be working with this fantastic opportunity to open up the world of nursing to young people from a variety of backgrounds. As we know now more than ever, a career in nursing enables a young person to make a real difference to the lives of others.”

Amy Leonard MBE, CEO of The Talent Foundry, said: “Nurses have been at the frontline of the fight against COVID, and the work they do is nothing short of incredible. Nursing is exciting, rewarding and challenging, and we are delighted to be working with the NHS to help more young people understand what nursing has to offer as a career.”

About Speakers for Schools:

Speakers for Schools was founded in 2010 by ITV’s Political Editor Robert Peston with a mission to help level the playing field for young people of all backgrounds. The charity aims to end educational inequality by giving all young people access to the same prestigious networks available to the top fee-paying schools in the UK. It provides talks from influential figures as well as work experiences linking state school students to industry-leading companies and networked support partners. Since lockdown, it has focused on delivering virtual work experience and online talks to schools.

There are three main services that Speakers for Schools offers: talks and broadcasts from influential figures via our Inspiration programme, the Experience programme linking young people to industry-leading companies via insight days and work placements, and the Youth Card, a personalised app that brings the world of curated discounts and life-preparing opportunities to the fingertips of young people across the UK. These services are entirely free for schools and young people.

Previous speakers include Andrew Bailey (Governor of the Bank of England), Lady Nicola Mendelsohn (Facebook VP for EMEA) and Dan Snow (Historian) and work experience with employers such as Google, Spotify, BP and The Bank of England.

About Talent Foundry:

The Talent Foundry (previously known as The Transformation Trust) was set up in May 2009 by Amy Leonard MBE, who now works as Chief Executive. Working with around 80,000 young people every year from across 1,600 schools in areas of high socio-economic deprivation, the charity’s mission is to increase social mobility by helping young people from disadvantaged backgrounds discover what they are amazing at, develop valuable new employment skills and take that first step into the world of work.

The charity runs a number of bespoke programmes with a range of corporate partners across different sectors, with all their programmes aimed at opening the doors of opportunity and ensuring that all the young people are able to make fully informed decisions on their future, whether through further education or entering the world of work.

About the NHS Nursing Ambassador Network:

The Nursing Ambassador Network sits within the Perceptions of Nursing Programme. There are over 1100 nurses from across England in the network, at all stages of their career from undergraduates to senior nurses and from all backgrounds and branches of the profession. The nurses in the network are passionate about promoting nursing as an aspirational career of choice, to recognise, celebrate and value the expertise, knowledge and skills that the nursing workforce brings to the health and wellbeing of the nation.