Workforce and Training

06.07.20

NHS and St John Ambulance to recruit thousands of ‘NHS Cadets’

As the NHS celebrated its 72nd birthday, the NHS and St John Ambulance are joining forces to recruit and train thousands of ‘NHS cadets’ in order to improve care for patients and offer a route into health service employment for up to 10,000 young people.

The £6m programme, which will be equally funded by NHS England and St John Ambulance, will provide 14 to 18-year-olds with first aid training, courses to develop their leadership skills and volunteering opportunities in the NHS – including vital hands-on work experience in hospitals.

Being piloted across Colchester, Hull and London, the NHS Cadet programme is set to be rolled out across England with Liverpool, Bradford, Hertfordshire and Wirral becoming involved in the coming months. By 2023, the scheme aims to have recruited 10,000 young people nationally.

Given the NHS’ need for additional nurses, doctors and other staff in the years ahead, it is hoped the scheme will see similar success to the police cadets which has directly contributed to thousands of young people pursuing a career in law enforcement.

The programme is seeking young people from marginalised backgrounds, including teenagers from BAME communities, young people not in employment, education or training – or at risk of becoming so – and others who may not have previously considered a career in the NHS.

READ MORE: NHS workforce statistics demonstrate rise in staffing numbers

Chief Nurse for the NHS, Ruth May, said: “The start of 2020 has been a challenging time for the NHS and its staff who have cared for 100,000 people with Covid-19 who needed specialist treatment and countless more besides, while working to redesign services and even build the Nightingale hospitals.

“However, this would not have been possible without the help and support of countless individuals including volunteers who are already making an enormous contribution

“Volunteers could and should never replace nurses, doctors and other staff but since the NHS’s foundation on July 5, 1948, they have played a fantastic role in supporting clinicians and assisting patients and this initiative sits firmly in that tradition.

“By introducing an NHS Cadet programme, we are now offering young people a genuine opportunity to get a taste of what it’s like to work in the best health service in the world.”

There are currently 131,000 cadets in England covering a range of areas such as policing and the military.

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