The ‘We Want You’ outreach programme is an exciting initiative aimed at supporting young people aged 12-15 (KS3) in a number of secondary schools across Gloucestershire to explore future employment in health and care.

NHS Gloucestershire has been working together with the University of Gloucestershire to launch the pioneering programme. Young people have also been involved in developing the project which provides inspiring in-person workshops within schools. These are designed to help students to discover and reflect on their skills and personal interests, aligning them with potential future careers in health and social care.

‘We Want You’ is a collaborative effort to provide students with a first-hand look at the diverse and fulfilling careers available across health and social care. With a focus on 19 secondary schools, the programme aims to break down stereotypes and remove barriers to understanding the health and social care workforce.

By showcasing the wide range of professions and opportunities within the sector, the programme inspires students to see the NHS and social care organisations as environments where their unique skills are valued.

Tracey Cox, Director of People, Culture and Engagement at NHS Gloucestershire, said: “The We Want You’ programme believes that early exposure to the possibilities within health and social care can have a lasting impact on career choices.

“By fostering self-reflection and showcasing the exciting opportunities available, the programme aspires to equip young individuals with the knowledge to make informed decisions about their future careers.

“These workshops provide valuable insights into the diverse array of careers within the sector, encourage students to reflect on their unique strengths and interests and educate individuals of all ages about the myriad of job opportunities within the NHS and social care. It also demystifies the misconception that every role necessitates a direct ‘hands-on’ involvement in medical or care-related activities.”

A core element of the programme is ‘co-production’, a way of involving young people, schools, and system partners in its development. Over 80 young people actively contributed to shaping the look and feel of the programme during the summer, emphasising the importance of young voices.

The programme’s resources and co-produced sessions, or ‘workshops’, link school curriculum subjects to real roles within the NHS and social care, making learning an engaging experience.

Tracey added: “The co-production process ensures that the programme resonates with the experiences and aspirations of our young participants, we want them to see the NHS and social care not just as workplaces or places of study, but as environments where their unique skills and talents can thrive, leading to fulfilling and impactful careers.”

Young people participating in the programme will have the opportunity to hear directly from NHS and social care professionals, both in clinical and non-clinical roles.

Recognising the power of digital content, the ‘We Want You’ programme embraces technology as a vital tool to engage and resonate with young people. Whether through co-producing videos or interactive games, it aims to reflect their interests and preferences. This inclusive approach ensures that the programme is not only educational but also reaches young people and their digital lifestyles, enabling them to explore career possibilities in a number of different ways.

Tracey added: “The programme recognises the pivotal age range of 12-15 as a critical period for career exploration.

“By offering hands-on and thought-provoking in-school workshops and engaging relatable digital content, the programme strives to ignite a passion for healthcare and social care professions among young people.”

For more information about the programme visit: We Want You