Diversity within the NHS workforce: raising the aspirations of migrant house-keeping workers, ,

This source preferred by Lee-Ann Fenge

Authors: Fenge, L.

Start date: 2 July 2007

Diversity within the NHS workforce: raising the aspirations of migrant house-keeping workers

This paper reports on an Aimhigher project in the SW of England that looked at the learning needs of migrant workers currently employed as housekeeping staff within the NHS. The project set out to enable these workers to explore their own learning needs further, and give them the opportunity to explore progression pathways within the NHS. This is in line with Agenda for Change and the widening participation strategy for learning within the NHS.

As a region the SW of England has the lowest proportion of children and the highest proportion of pensioners. This has implications for the recruitment, training and retention of staff (2001, Census).Whilst the current migrant worker population is mainly situated in London and the South East, this picture is changing, and rural areas with low unemployment are also seeing a significant increase in the numbers of migrant workers, particularly in the broader health care sector (South West Learning and Intelligence Module (SLIM) –South West Observatory 2005.) The SLIM report states that 88% of migrant workers coming to the South West are aged 18-24 This project offered a programme of activities to housekeeping staff, developed in collaboration with a local hospital trust that had identified a lack of existing learning opportunities available for these workers. Many of these staff had been unable to access learning opportunities within the hospital, apart for ESL.

This programme of activities was focused on aspiration raising and personal development and mapped onto the 6 core themes of the Knowledge and Skills Framework. It enabled participants to explore their own job role in terms of the KSF, as well as exploring their future learning needs and aspirations. They were also able to explore their role within the wider organisation. Topics covered could contribute to a portfolio of evidence for participants to be used in future appraisals.

The 5 themes explored were:  Personal and People Development (KSF 2)  Communication (KSF 1)  Health, safety and security (KSF 3)  Equality, diversity and rights  Service Development (KSF 4) and Quality (KSF 5) A number of participants either wanted to or had already enrolled onto NVQ 2 by the end of the project. Others had longer term aspirations in terms of progressing onto health care assistant roles and then onto professional education.

References Census, 2001, www.statistics.gov.uk Skills, Learning and Intelligence Module (2006) Migrant workers: Issues for the South West Review of Official Data, South West Observatory. www.swo.org.uk

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