Chapter 3: The NHS as an employer

Why this matters

The NHS employs more than 1.6 million people in the UK and, with more than 350 career options, is a critical source of economic opportunity for local people. Figure 2 shows the percentage of jobs the health sector contributes locally by level of STP. The figure demonstrates how the NHS, which accounts for most of these jobs, is a major driver of employment in each regional economy, though some areas (the North and parts of London) are more reliant on the NHS for employment relative to other sectors.

There is a strong link between work and health; for work to have a positive impact on health, it must be ‘good work’ – providing stable employment, paying a living wage, and offering fair working conditions, work-life balance and career progression. By helping more residents – particularly those furthest from the labour market – into quality work, the health system can improve the welfare of its local communities and begin to narrow inequalities. Building a workforce that is more representative of the local area can also better respond to patients’ needs. Furthermore, employing local people can contribute to reducing the carbon impact of the health sector by reducing the number of staff reliant on transportation to get to work.

Anchor workforce strategies involve thinking not only about how the NHS can grow local workforce supply and widen access to employment for local communities, but also how it can be a better employer and place to build a career for more people. It acts as an anchor not only in the number of jobs it creates, but in how it can support the health and wellbeing of its staff through good employment conditions and the working environment – a timely undertaking, given the enormous workforce pressures confronting the NHS.

Figure 2: Health employment as a percentage of total employment by STP level

Figure 2: Health employment as a percentage of total employment by STP level.

Office for National Statistics, Business Register and Employment Survey (2017)

Notes: data are for all people employed in hospital activities, medical and dental practice activities and other human health activities (eg, medical nursing homes, rehabilitation centres, psychiatric hospitals, etc.). Data will include people working in the private sector as well as part-time.

What do anchor workforce strategies look like in practice?

Widening workforce participation

  1. Targeting positions for local people
  2. Understanding local demographics and opportunities
  3. Creating pre-employment programmes, work placements and volunteer work experience

Building the future workforce

  1. Engaging young people and supporting career development
  2. Increasing the number and types of apprenticeships

Being a good employer

  1. Supporting health and wellbeing of staff
  2. Supporting fair pay and conditions of employment
  3. Supporting professional development and career progression

Policy context

Workforce shortages are the biggest threat facing the health and care system, with significant implications for the quality of care. Hospitals and mental health and community providers in England alone are reporting vacancies of more than 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff. Based on current trends, the NHS will continue to fall substantially short of the workforce it needs unless there are significant actions to increase staff supply.

There are multiple strategies that the NHS, as an anchor institution, can adopt to address workforce shortages, including better attention to career progression and training for NHS employees, with numerous efforts targeting support roles, including health care assistants. This includes the Health Education England Talent for Care Strategic Framework, which aims to create more opportunities for people to start and build a career in the NHS. Alongside this, the Widening Workforce Participation Strategy established a programme to expand access to education, employment and development opportunities for under represented communities. The Interim NHS People Plan also explicitly recognises the NHS’s responsibility, as an anchor, to support employment opportunities for local communities by creating new job pathways and making the NHS a more inclusive work environment and better employer for more people. The government’s Industrial Strategy also creates further scope for the NHS to work with local partners to improve local skills development.

Apprenticeships are another mechanism for widening access to employment. A new apprenticeship levy came into effect in 2017, and as the largest employer in the UK, the NHS has led the public sector in its use. In health and social care, around 420,000 people have started apprenticeships since 2011. The levy covers the costs of training, but not the apprentices’ wages. Smaller employers, like GP practices, can also access the levy to pay 90% of their apprenticeship training costs. There are plans to create 100,000 more apprenticeships in England by 2020, including nursing and health care assistants, and in IT, estates and facilities, domestic and housekeeping services, and business administration.,

Workforce shortages are compounded by poor experiences for some groups of staff. The 2018 NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard survey found that 15% of black and minority ethnic (BME) staff reported experiencing discrimination in the past 12 months, and that 28% did not believe that their organisation provided equal opportunities for career progression (this compares to 7% and 13% of white staff, respectively). These inequalities need urgent attention. The Interim NHS People Plan promises to deliver a more compassionate and inclusive culture that promotes equality of opportunity for all staff.

Learning from practice

Widening workforce participation

  1. Targeting positions for local people

    NHS organisations have worked with community partners to target certain positions for local residents, who might otherwise face barriers to work. Partners include local councils and other community organisations that often have deeper reach and insight into local populations, which helps identify potential candidates and promote work opportunities.

    For example, Barts Health NHS Trust has a proportion of roles available to locally unemployed applicants. In the same way that some roles are ring-fenced for internal hires, the trust prioritises local hires for a certain number of entry-level positions and works with local authorities to identify and match potential candidates (see case study on page 19).

    To monitor progress, some organisations are using targets to increase the percentage of local hires – a practice adopted by some hospitals in the United States. In 2015, Johns Hopkins Health System and Johns Hopkins University launched HopkinsLocal, which stipulated that 40% of new hires for entry-level positions should come from Baltimore neighbourhoods with high poverty and unemployment. Hopkins met this target within the first year and by 2018, 47% of targeted positions (381 new hires) were filled by residents from these areas. The hospital worked with local organisations to identify unemployed and underemployed individuals for specific jobs, and provided tailored training, skills development and assistance with the application process. Residents who apply through the programme are guaranteed a first look by recruiting managers.

    These recruitment methods need to reach as wide a pool of applicants as possible. This means writing job descriptions accessibly, advertising NHS roles in a broad range of outlets and using selection techniques that support inclusivity and diversity. NHS Employers and Health Education England (HEE) have created a range of tools, resources and guidance to support NHS organisations to engage local communities throughout the recruitment process, offering a helpful starting point when developing or expanding anchor strategies.

  2. Understanding local demographics and opportunities

    Where possible, NHS organisations should aim to employ a staff mix that is drawn from, and broadly representative of, the local population it serves. This requires baseline data to know where employees come from to ensure that areas with the highest levels of deprivation are represented in the workforce, and that people from these areas have equal opportunity to advance their careers.

    The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has been thinking critically about how to build career opportunities for local people from deprived or excluded communities, and is working with Leeds City Council through a new programme called Priority Neighbourhoods. This initiative uses local data to develop ‘neighbourhood profiles’ to help target local investments and create more opportunities in areas that fall within the 1% of the most deprived areas nationally.

    ‘Some little things have been easy to do. For example, some of the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Leeds are on our doorstep, like Lincoln Green, which has a high percentage of people who’ve recently emigrated to the UK. Feedback from those working in the priority neighbourhood highlighted that many people felt helpless as to how to get on a career pathway. In-work poverty was and is a key challenge. Working with the council we have run a series of recruitment events locally to promote routes into careers, alongside an employability programme and language courses. This has seen us make around 30 hires from within the neighbourhood and surrounding area. We’re currently planning our next cohort.’

    Director of Policy and Partnerships

    Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

  3. Creating pre-employment programmes, work placements and volunteer work experience

A growing number of NHS organisations (supported by strategies such as Widening Participation and Talent for Care) are developing employability programmes that provide training and support to help local people acquire the skills needed to work in health and care, often linked to direct work experience, training or volunteer roles.,

One example is the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, which has worked with local partners like The Prince’s Trust to establish a Learning Hub (set up in 2008). This is a purpose-built centre fully staffed to offer pre-employment advice, training, guidance and direct links to jobs in the NHS to unemployed local people and those furthest from the labour market. In a 12-week programme, participants complete 3-week volunteer work placements in roles across the NHS and receive mentoring from trust employees. To ensure that the recruitment opportunities are widely accessible, the organisation has agreed to accept references from social workers instead of traditional employment references, for refugee populations. The Learning Hub has so far supported nearly 2,500 local people into employment within the trust and partner organisations since it opened.

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust has launched a programme that offers more residents a chance to gain a qualification and volunteer work experience within the trust. Partnering with the Department for Work and Pensions and Blackburn College, the trust provides pre-employment training for the long-term unemployed, homeless people, people with learning disabilities and people struggling with drugs and alcohol. Participants complete a 3-week course at Blackburn College on employability skills in adult and child care, then do a 2-week volunteer work placement within the trust in roles including catering, laundry services or business administration. Twenty-five people completed the training as part of the first cohort in 2018, four of whom have secured permanent employment within the trust.

Survey data from HEE show that in 2015/16, there were nearly 800 employability programmes of this nature across the NHS, with 1,219 participants, many of which targeted local people or underrepresented populations. The roles targeted have tended to be lower-banded operational and administrative roles that are critical to the running of the NHS. However, there may be further scope to expand opportunities and connect more local people to clinical roles in nursing and allied health professions that have clear progression routes and where more staff are needed.

It will be important to evaluate these programmes robustly. At the sites where we conducted interviews, there has been limited attention to measuring effectiveness of pre-employment support and other efforts to widen workforce participation. Indeed, a HEE survey found that fewer than half (48%) of NHS organisations with an employability programme had evaluated it. Yet the limited evidence available suggests these programmes can work: an evaluation commissioned by HEE of programmes offered in three trusts (Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and North Bristol NHS Trust) found that of 732 people participating in a programme at one of the sites, 52% went on to work at the trust as an apprentice or in a permanent job.,

So far, pre-employment programmes have been created in large hospital trusts with limited offers in general practice or commissioning. This suggests that more support is needed to encourage other NHS organisations to follow suit. This could be an important part of STP/ICS planning – to develop a wider health employment programme that links local people to opportunities across the sector. The introduction of PCNs may also create more scope to pool resources and develop pre-employment programmes or work placements for general practice across a locality.

There are examples of health and care organisations working together to develop opportunities across a local system. As part of the North West London Health and Care Partnership, the NHS is working with local councils and unions to develop a formal skills partnership to help more local people from disadvantaged backgrounds access good-quality work. Since forming the partnership, the NHS in west and north west London has become the largest provider of supported employment opportunities for young people with special education and development needs. By working more closely with the council, NHS organisations have made new relationships with other large employers locally (such as Heathrow Airport) and are developing further joint programmes to benefit local people. The Interim NHS People Plan promises a shift to devolving more responsibility to STPs/ICSs for workforce planning, creating further opportunities to develop collaborative approaches for improving the economic prospects of more people.

Building the future workforce

1. Engaging young people and supporting career development

Helping young people to gain the skills and qualifications they need to pursue careers of their choice is key to supporting a healthy transition into adulthood. In the UK, over 10% of young people aged 16–24 are not in education, employment or training (NEET), which can have serious long-term effects on their economic prospects and employability. As an anchor in local communities, the NHS can work with local partners to help break down barriers to future employment for young people.

A growing number of NHS organisations are collaborating with local schools and community organisations to expose more young people to careers in the NHS, raise the profile of different types of NHS jobs and help support skills development locally. This has also been a part of HEE’s Widening Participation strategy, which has introduced a framework to support the NHS to partner with schools to create new training opportunities and mentoring for students.

Through our research, we have identified several examples of trusts implementing initiatives to support young people to understand potential NHS career options and to gain the experience and skills needed to work within the sector and broader local economy. Many of these examples focus on young people from disadvantaged communities.

For example, Birmingham has one of the highest rates of youth unemployment in the country, and the local trust has developed programmes that target young people at risk of homelessness and unemployment. In addition to its programmes with The Prince’s Trust through its Learning Hub (see page 15), the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust is also working with Birmingham City Council to deliver Youth Promise Plus – a city-wide initiative providing training, support and work opportunities to at least 16,000 young people (aged 15–29) classed as NEET. Together with Birmingham and Solihull NHS trusts, the local hospitals have committed to supporting 850 participants through this programme.

The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is also promoting careers to young people in the local area. It has appointed a cohort of staff to act as health career ambassadors to promote NHS opportunities in local schools. It has also established a work experience programme that enables young people to directly observe the trust’s work in both clinical and non-clinical areas. After finding that the initial uptake of work experience placements came from younger people in more affluent areas, the trust has started to target schools in more deprived postcodes to redress the balance.

2. Increasing the number and types of apprenticeships

NHS apprenticeships can offer paid employment, protected learning time and clear career progression from support worker through to a degree or postgraduate-level qualification. They can be used to support new trainees as well as internal staff looking to advance in their careers.

Some NHS organisations have used the funds they contribute to the apprenticeship levy to scale their approach. The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is one of a few organisations piloting a nurse apprenticeship programme, to give more people from different backgrounds an opportunity to access NHS careers. The pathway involves a 6-week traineeship with a guaranteed interview on completion for a Level 1 apprentice clinical support role. Building on the initial success, the trust has expanded the programme to include roles in administration, facilities, medical engineering and other clinical support areas. In 2018, apprentices accounted for 3% of the trust’s workforce; since 2015, it has increased its apprenticeships by 51% each year.

Stakeholders we interviewed welcomed the concept of a compulsory employer funded and led training programme like the apprenticeship levy, but felt that some changes are needed for it to provide greater local benefit. For example, it would be better in some cases if unused funds could be retained within the sector or within localities, rather than redistributed elsewhere. There is also a lack of data on where people move on to after completing their apprenticeship, which hampers understanding of how the programme supports career prospects, and for whom.

Some felt that the levy should have explicit aims to boost social mobility, so that the funds could support economic prospects for people from disadvantaged backgrounds or who have not benefited from apprenticeships so far. This could mean prioritising a certain number of placements for local people living in more deprived areas and who are underrepresented in the NHS clinical workforce. The Interim NHS People Plan committed to explore how the apprenticeship levy could evolve to support more inclusive pathways into NHS careers, which may provide an impetus to implement some of these changes. In either case, given the challenges NHS organisations already face in using the levy, any changes must be balanced and not overly burdensome to administer.

Case study 1: Barts Health NHS Trust

Based in east London, Barts Health NHS Trust is the largest NHS trust in England, with an annual total workforce spend of £869m and around 16,500 staff. It has high vacancy and staff turnover rates, exceeding 10% and 13% respectively. The trust’s response to this provides a good example of how an NHS organisation can combine a range of programmes and initiatives in one of the key anchor areas to focus on improving local health, wellbeing and social mobility, while also addressing workforce pressures.

Targeting positions to help local unemployed people

To employ more local people, particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds, the trust ring-fences a proportion of entry-level roles for local applicants. These vacancies are shared with local authorities who help identify and match potential candidates based on their skills, interests and other requirements. The most common positions targeted are clinical and corporate roles that do not require advanced degrees, ensuring that they are accessible to residents who may not have high educational attainment.

The public health team advocating for this change needed buy-in from recruitment managers, who worried that prioritising local applicants would limit choice of candidates. The team argued that even if fewer applicants were shortlisted for each role, this process was more efficient as candidates were pre-screened and pre-matched by the local authority according to their skills and interests.

Supporting career opportunities for younger people in the area

The trust has also been working with schools and community partners on programmes designed to generate qualified and prepared local applicants from socially disadvantaged communities.

Project Search East London, run in partnership with local schools and employment services, aims to increase career opportunities within the trust for young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. Adapted from an initiative at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in the United States, it provides employability skills training and job placements for young people at Barts. In the five years since it launched, 54% of participants (46 interns) have moved into paid employment in roles including ward clerk and ward host, and in catering and portering. The project has a designated job coach who works with managers to provide inductions, define work placement duties and support interns with any specific learning or workplace issues. Project Search is also being adapted by some other NHS organisations across the UK.

Barts Health NHS Trust has also recently launched a Health Horizons programme, a multi-pronged strategy to help more young people locally build their careers in the NHS. Run by the trust in partnership with Barts Charity and supported by the JP Morgan Chase Foundation, the programme works with schools across local boroughs to increase awareness of NHS careers and promote the NHS as a local employer. The trust has appointed sector career champions and mentors working with secondary schools and local councils to offer career advice, run career awareness events and recruit for volunteer work experience placements.

For students aged 16–18, the programme works with Jobcentre Plus and local authorities to identify career opportunities in target boroughs and deliver coaching and interview training. The programme is building local supply in roles where recruitment has been especially challenging, including allied health professions, nursing and nursing associates, health care assistants and health care navigators. As of summer 2019, it is yet to be fully implemented, but aims to recruit 400 students to work experience placements or apprenticeships and support 100 participants through pre-recruitment programmes (with a target of 50% ultimately going on to employment in health or social care).

Being a good employer

  1. Supporting health and wellbeing of staff

    The NHS has an opportunity to improve the health and wellbeing of local people in the way it treats and supports its own large body of staff. Supporting a happy and healthy NHS workforce can also have a knock-on impact on the health and wellbeing of the wider community, given the number of connections NHS staff have through their families and social networks. The latest NHS staff survey results reveal that the NHS could do much more to promote a healthier working environment. While there have been improvements in some areas, less than a third of staff reported that their trust takes positive action on health and wellbeing.

    Many NHS employers have prioritised improving staff health and wellbeing, offering workplace wellness schemes to reduce stress and promote healthy lifestyles. Though important, these strategies need to be carefully designed to be accessible to all and to not inadvertently widen inequalities within the workforce. Studies have shown that employees who participate in workplace wellness programmes often have higher incomes and are in better health than those who do not.

    This was a case in point at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, where an internal review of its workplace programmes revealed that, of the 1,700 participants, only 10% were from bands 1 and 2 – despite these staff having some of the highest rates of referrals to occupational health and missing the most work days due to musculoskeletal issues. These staff also reported feeling extremely stressed at work and often ignored or unvalued. The trust therefore co-designed a workplace wellness programme with staff in the facilities team (including porters, domestic and security staff), which led to a range of activities including cooking classes, family and social events, a financial advice workshop and group walks. An independent (unpublished) evaluation indicates that the programme brought benefits, including more staff reporting that they felt valued, physically active and less stressed at work. The evaluation also suggests a reduction in sickness absences of 1.6 days for porters and domestic care staff compared to a control arm of other band 2 staff during the 12 months of the project. The trust now needs to find a way to sustain the programme beyond its initial national grant funding.

  2. Supporting fair pay and conditions of employment

    An important determinant of staff wellbeing is the terms and conditions of their employment, including receiving a fair wage and having a good work–life balance. Low pay can lead to financial hardship, trapping people in in-work poverty, with important implications for health and wellbeing. Being an anchor means ensuring that the NHS provides secure employment and fair compensation so that all its staff can live with financial security, not least because in some areas the NHS is the largest employer.

    The Health Foundation’s Closing the Gap report with The King’s Fund and Nuffield Trust shed light on the current challenges in staff pay and how they impact on different employee groups. The 2018 pay deal marked an important change in how NHS staff are paid, lifting the 1% cap and resulting in almost all staff receiving real-term pay increases. Staff in lower bands received the biggest increases, and from 2019/20, every worker employed directly through the NHS is now paid at least the real living wage.

    Lifting the pay cap is a crucial step for many NHS staff experiencing hardship. For example, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) reported that the number of nurses and health care assistants receiving a grant from the RCN Foundation to alleviate severe financial hardship had doubled between 2010 and 2016. And a Unison survey of 12,000 NHS employees in lower-paid roles showed that 21% had to take on another paid job to make ends meet. As the Closing the Gap report makes clear, it is critical that pay for NHS staff keeps up with the cost of living beyond 2021/22 (when the pay deal expires) if the NHS is to support the financial security of all who work for it.

    The NHS also needs to remunerate staff fairly, addressing the persistent ethnic and gender pay gaps, if NHS organisations are going to maximise their potential as anchor institutions and provide a model for other employers. The NHS also has an opportunity to go further and influence the wellbeing of many more workers by extending living wage and fair working condition standards to all its contracted employees.

  3. Supporting professional development and career progression

Supporting staff to meet their full potential and advance in their roles is a key feature of any good human resources (HR) policy, but is particularly important for anchor institutions. Given the size, scale and varied nature of its workforce, the NHS has a key opportunity to ensure that no one gets trapped at the low end of the labour market. It can do much to help staff progress into higher-wage positions – for example, by mapping out clear potential career pathways for all roles and offering continuing professional development and training for staff at all levels, not just those in the highest-paid bands.

While the NHS has focused at both the national and local level to improve staff development, there is significant scope to ensure that these opportunities are accessed equally across staff groups. For example, people from BME backgrounds are underrepresented in leadership positions, with the 2018 NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard report revealing that over half of trusts (52%) have no BME representation in the 'very senior manager' pay band. The percentage of chairs and non-executives of NHS trusts from a BME background has nearly halved, from a peak of 15% in 2010 to 8% today. As with pay, it is important that the NHS seeks to understand what is driving inequality and develop strategies to redress this.

Equality of opportunity is also important in the context of broader technological advances that will change the nature of health care work. The Topol Review noted that clinical staff will need new training and development to acquire the skills that digital transformation requires. These changes offer an opportunity to improve the quality and efficiency of health care, but the workforce implications must be closely considered. For example, where new technology brings automation of care or tasks, the risks to lower-banded support roles (an important entry point to NHS careers for many people) should be monitored. As an anchor institution supporting inclusive employment, the NHS must use technology to upskill and advance all roles, not just those in the highest-paid positions. The Care City case study below provides an example of an inclusive professional development strategy that has used digital enhancement to improve the career prospects for more junior members of staff.

Case study 2: Care City

First established by North East London Foundation Trust and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, Care City is a centre for healthy ageing and social regeneration that works across northeast London. The area has 10% unemployment and the lowest life expectancy in London. Care City brings investment and opportunity to help regenerate the boroughs. One way it does this is by testing new ways of using digital technology to improve the skills of people working in support roles, such as health care assistants. Funded through the Test Beds programme run by NHS England and the Office for Life Sciences, the programme involves three components:

  • Building the skills and confidence of domiciliary carers to use new technology that helps spot deterioration among patients with long-term conditions early, and supports better medication management.
  • Training health care assistants working in primary care to support patients who have been prescribed a digital application by a GP to make use of the technology and help prevent deterioration of long-term conditions.
  • Teaching skills to administrators in acute care to provide support for people with heart failure and administer digital programmes that support education and exercise between appointments.

Care City leadership saw an opportunity with this programme to develop people in support roles – who often have the least access to technology – to improve the way they deliver care. An evaluation is underway; the team hopes that the digital training will not only improve care delivery and the patient experience but also support future career prospects and professional advancement for more junior members of the health and social care workforce.

Summary and implications for practice and policy

Growing a local workforce and making the NHS a better place to build a career are areas where the NHS has the largest scope to maximise its role as an anchor. These goals also align with the policies and programmes the NHS is pursuing to address recruitment and retention challenges.

At the national level, delivering the NHS Interim People Plan can support NHS organisations to widen workforce participation and create more diverse and accessible pathways into NHS careers. This includes ensuring adequate funding and resources for training and development so that all staff can progress in their roles, and that opportunities are inclusive and help break down the barriers to advancement that exist for many staff groups. Where policy levers (such as the apprenticeship levy) already exist, they should be reviewed and, if necessary, reformed to ensure that they create opportunities for communities who could benefit the most.

At the local system level, STPs and ICSs should enable NHS organisations to advance anchor strategies as part of local workforce plans, and develop joint approaches with local partners that improve employment prospects for local people. The NHS’s regional teams can also help share learning and evidence between systems.

There is also scope for individual organisations to do more to widen participation, increase the numbers of local people they employ and ensure good work for current and prospective employees. NHS providers could make inclusion, diversity and local hiring explicit organisational goals, and work with partners to deliver more volunteering, work experience, apprenticeships, skills training and coaching to build a pipeline of future employees and prepare more people for work in the NHS. This requires both local demographic data and baseline data about existing staff to identify the greatest areas of need and to target interventions. Once staff are in post, every opportunity should be taken to support staff health and wellbeing and create equal opportunities for career development and progression.

If approached correctly, anchor strategies can respond to workforce pressures at the same time as improving health and addressing inequalities within local communities. These strategies need to be accompanied by clear targets and metrics to help assess progress and the wider impact of these strategies over time.

Practical resources to support implementation

Economic and Social Impacts and Benefits of Health Systems (World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe)

NHS Workforce Health and Wellbeing Framework (NHS Employers)

Recruiting from your community (NHS Employers)

The Talent for Care. A National Strategic Framework to Develop the Healthcare Support Workforce (Health Education England)

Think Future – tools, resources and learning (NHS Employers)

What Comes Next? National Strategic Framework for Engagement with Schools and Communities to Build a Diverse Healthcare Workforce (Health Education England)

Widening Participation. It Matters! Our Strategy and Initial Action Plan (Health Education England)

Volunteering takes many forms and can give a range of benefits to the recipient, the organisation and the individual who is giving time. For the purposes of this report, we focus specifically on the benefits of volunteer opportunities in terms of providing work experience opportunities and supporting skills development and routes into employment for different populations.

‘In-work poverty’ refers to individuals living in households where income is below the poverty threshold despite one member of the household working either full-time or part-time. The poverty threshold is defined as under 60% of the average household income (before housing costs).

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