An NHS training scheme which has helped people from South Asian communities in North Kirklees gain employment has been shortlisted for the prestigious 2011 Healthcare People Management Association (HPMA) excellence awards.
The Positive Action Training (PAT) scheme was run by the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust with the aim of giving local people from South Asian backgrounds the opportunity to gain work based training and qualifications within the organisation.
The Trust’s human resources team ran the PAT scheme as a way of ensuring its workforce is representative of the population it serves.
This work has been recognised by the HPMA awards, which reward outstanding contributions to human resource management, as a finalist in the GateHouse award for equality and diversity.
The category is designed to celebrate a project or initiative that demonstrates progress in addressing the equality or diversity challenges within an organisation.
Traineeships in the Trust last approximately 11 months and while it doesn’t guarantee employment, they do lead to a nationally recognised NVQ 2 qualification, and it is hoped that at the end of the training, trainees will be equipped to secure a job within the NHS and hopefully apply for work with the Trust.
The first intake of trainees was hugely successful, with one, Zahid Valimulla, going on to win the ‘star for the future’ award at the Trust’s internal staff awards.
Human resources manager Claire Hartland said, “The Positive Action Training Scheme has been a real success. This programme really opened doors for participants and it generated a positive response from South Asian people in the community. The scheme helped to promote the Trust as an employer of choice, initially for South Asian communities but also for all underrepresented groups."
The team will find out if they have been successful at an awards ceremony in London on 23rd June.
The Positive Action Training Scheme, which is delivered under the Race Relations Act, is currently on hold but the Trust is hoping to commence the work again later this year.