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NHS failing to attract graduates

The NHS has launched a new website to recruit more graduates after revealing that 78 per cent of recently surveyed students said they would not consider a career within the organisation
The NHS has launched a new website to recruit more graduates after revealing that 78 per cent of recently surveyed students said they would not consider a career within the organisation.

Out of the 999 students from 14 universities across England who responded, 54 per cent said they would not even think about a possible career with the NHS. The number of respondents on clinical or healthcare-related courses was 22 per cent.

The careers website has now gone live and caters for university students by helping them decide which type of role would best suit their qualifications and degree.

"It is clear the NHS has a lot to do to get the message to undergraduates that to have a future career in the NHS, it doesn't matter what degree you are studying," said Alan Simmons, a careers consultant for the NHS. "The launch of this website will be an important tool in this battle."

Concerns over wage packets are deterring graduate entrants as 59 per cent of the poll respondents feel that NHS pay is considerably lower than other employers are offering. Simmons was keen to emphasise that the website shows that pay scales are competitive in the graduate marketplace and said that they can easily rival private sector wages.

Despite a lack of interest in pursuing jobs and opportunities in the NHS, 84 per cent of the students surveyed did say that they believe a career with the health service would challenge them positively. The new website, 'What can I do with my degree' (www.whatcanIdowithmydegree.nhs.uk), aims to give students a clearer picture of the types of role and employment available. It profiles four current members of staff to give potential applicants a taste of life in the organisation. Simmons said the website does not, however, trivialise or play down the rigours and demands of a career in the NHS.

"Even when the going gets tough, NHS staff know they are doing a job that makes a real difference to people's lives," said Simmons. "With 350 different careers on offer, there is a career for every graduate, whatever their degree."

16th May 2008

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