A new job support scheme has been launched by the Buckinghamshire NHS trust to assist unemployed residents.
A six-week course will start on February 28, helping participants learn about what it takes to become a healthcare assistant.
Every person who completes the six-week programme is guaranteed an interview for a permanent job.
Mark Ferris, 54, was made redundant after 30 years in the IT industry just as the COVID-19 pandemic started.
He was one of the first Positive Steps graduates and is now employed full-time at Amersham Hospital.
Mark said: “I’d been thinking about a career change and looking after my elderly parents had made me think about moving into care.
"On my placement I began looking after patients from the very first day, paired up with an experienced senior colleague on the morning care round.
"I was hooked immediately and loved every minute. There was lots of on the job training and a great team spirit. I’m now in a position to make a real difference to people’s lives and feel really valued.”
Mark further discussed his delight with the programme on camera, in an interview which you can view here.
An NHS spokesman broke down the course in further detail:
-Three days on a hospital ward, working with an experienced mentor to support patients with personal care, making beds, help with meals and other duties
-One day a week at Buckinghamshire College Group’s Aylesbury campus studying for the BTEC Level 1 Introduction to Health and Social Care and undergoing to the Building Futures employability and interviews skills programme
-One day a week of self-study and reflection
Rose Kennedy, matron for inpatients at Amersham Hospital, was keen not to lose Mark after the taster experience ended: “Healthcare Assistants need to be caring, compassionate and thrive as part of a team, so Mark fitted straight in to our BHT family.
"Positive Steps is open to people from all ages and backgrounds and there are no set entry requirements. We look forward to welcoming more people like Mark in 2022."
If you are unemployed and are interested in applying for Positive Steps, contact your work coach at your local JobCentre Plus or email [email protected]