A group of young Kickstart recruits were officially welcomed into the Northern Care Alliance (NCA) NHS Foundation Trust family recently, marking their successful graduation from the government’s employment funding scheme to secured, paid roles within the Trust.

Eight cohorts joined the Kickstart programme in May this year and have all since successfully completed their six-month placements within various departments throughout the NCA.

In a ceremony held at Salford Royal Hospital at the end of November, the young people were presented with their certificates by the NCA’s Chairman, Professor Michael Luger, who congratulated them all personally.

The Kickstart programme gave young people struggling in the midst of the pandemic the chance to try a placement with the NCA.

One person who took on the programme is Conner Ellison, who lost three hospitality jobs in the space of three weeks as a result of the pandemic.

Mr Ellison found out about the NCA Kickstart role through his local job centre and joined the first cohort in May, following a two week employability skills course with The Prince’s Trust called Get Into Health and Social Care – Pre Kickstart NCA.

He spent his six-month placement as a Pathology Bio Lab Receptionist and has now secured a full-time role with the team and is even considering a future as a paramedic.

Mr Ellison said: "There are so many people that make the NHS work, every day I'm proud of what I do.

"It may have been difficult and daunting at the start but I'm glad I took that leap."

Professor Luger said: "I want to congratulate and recognise all of our Kickstarters for completing their six month training period, showing persistence and commitment and I hope they’ve benefited as much from the experience and training they’ve received as we have done from the work they have put in.

"Well done, and congratulations."

The NCA’s commitment to young people was highlighted further as the Trust hosted a successful ‘communities of practice’ event, focusing on how it is working to strengthen relationships with system partners and helping to support the next generation of workers from local communities into successful NHS careers.