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June 06, 2005 3:34 PM

Today Andy Kerr, Minister for Health and Community Care officially launched a new initiative for the unemployed in Greater Glasgow.

NHS Greater Glasgow, Scottish Enterprise Glasgow, the Wise Group and Job Centre Plus are working together to offer long term unemployed the opportunity of full-time employment with NHS Greater Glasgow.

The hospital-based initiative was first started during 2004 and saw nine trainees being offered full time employment with NHS Greater Glasgow out of a total of 15 trainees who took part in the initiative.

This year NHS Greater Glasgow is hoping to encourage as many as 350 unemployed people that this initiative is the first steps into gaining employment with the NHS.

Ian Reid, Director of Human Resources, NHS Greater Glasgow is delighted that this initiative is giving people the opportunity to get back to work.He said:"Quite often unemployed people don't consider the NHS for employment.This initiative gives them a chance to see the wide range of jobs available within NHS Greater Glasgow and offers them options they might not have considered before.

Andy Kerr, Minister for Health and Community Kerr, officially launched the initiative today and said:Health Minister, Andy Kerr said:

"NHS Greater Glasgow's WHIGG initiative should be commended for the great work it has achieved in helping people to find employment in the NHS.The original pilot in 2004 helped 95 out of 149 trainees to find work with NHS Greater Glasgow.

"This new launch of the project, which I am pleased to attend, will be done on a much wider scale and will offer the opportunity for employment for 350 long-term unemployed people.This project will add to the recruitment of a diverse workforce for the NHS with various skills and experience.It should increase staff retention rates and reduce the cost of filling vacancies.

"The participants who have been involved in this initiative in the past have talked of improvements in their overall health and well being, with many of them taking more exercise and eating healthier, which is an added bonus."

Stephanie Young, Senior Director, Scottish Enterprise Glasgow said:""Our pilot programme has proved hugely successful over the past year in

helping a traditionally hard to reach target group of people.

"Last year 92 (another three gained employment elsewhere) of a total of 127 people who completed the course successfully took up a position with the NHS in the Glasgow area."

"The classroom based training in job search, interview skills and personal

skills,with short work experience placements provides people, who may well

have been economically inactive for some time, a chance to get back into the

world of work."

"The figures speak for themselves and I'm delighted that the number of

places available for the coming year on this programme are being increased three fold."


Notes for Editors

The objectives of the WHIGG programme are:

  • To improve the diversity mix in NHS Greater Glasgow
  • To contribute to the Welfare to Work agenda
  • To widen the labour market from which NHS Greater Glasgow recruits its workforce
  • To monitor health improvement of those recruited from economically inactive sector through appropriate indicators.

The programme runs between 2 and 15 weeks with a minimum guaranteed interview for completers; potential guarantee of job subject to agreed criteria

Target 350 participants

The existing WHIGG pilot started in January 2004 with a 6 week programme.

40% of participants unemployed more than 2 years and 16% over 10 years

Results at 23 May 2005

  • 149 started programme
  • 127 completed
  • 95 have jobs (all but 3 in NHS Greater Glasgow)
  • 89% retention 4 weeks – 1 year

For further media information contact 0141 201 4429.

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Last Updated: 11 November 2021