Teens choose NHS as first choice for their future career

The NHS has been the talk of classrooms during National Careers Week, following a BBC Bitesize survey that found the NHS is the first choice of employer for teenagers.

Both Doctor and Nurse made the top five in career preferences in a survey of 4,000 young people, with one in ten saying that Doctor was their top career pick.

The BBC Bitesize survey also showed the NHS was the most popular employer with 13–16-year-olds – ahead of FIFA and various tech firms.

The data follows a week in which thousands of secondary school children in England attended talks and watched videos to learn about the possibilities available to them if they pursue an NHS career.

Students had the opportunity to hear from a range of NHS staff about how they reached their goals and get tips on crafting applications for jobs, apprenticeships, and training.

There are over 350 different career opportunities within the NHS. Roles included anything from IT professionals, healthcare scientists, healthcare support worker to midwives, nurses and pharmacists.

The NHS has committed to growing its workforce to navigate the rising demand for healthcare as part of its Long Term Workforce Plan, with plans to double medical school training places by 15,000 and increase the number of GP training places by 50% to 6,000 by 2031.

Along with increasing recruitment, the NHS is drawing on a vast pool of talent by ensuring more training places are offered through degree apprenticeships so staff can earn while they learn, receiving a full degree while ensuring they meet clinical standards required by professional regulators.

By 2028, one in six of all training for clinical staff will come through apprenticeship pathways, including more than 850 medical students. Likewise, the number of nursing degrees will rise by 40% in nursing associate training places over five years.

It is estimated that along with measures to keep staff working in the NHS for longer, the health service will have at least 60,000 doctors, 170,000 more nurses and 71,000 more allied health professionals in place by 2036/37 – a once-in-a-generation opportunity.

Dr Navina Evans, Chief Workforce, Training and Education Officer, said: “It’s exciting to see that the NHS is the first-choice employer among teenagers, with doctor sitting first and nursing fifth in the top ten jobs they have their eyes on as a future career, offering the NHS a real opportunity to secure the workforce we need to deliver care for patients.

“Under the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan we are set to double the number of medical school training places, deliver 24,000 more nurse training places, and increase the number of GP training places by 50% to 6,000 per year by 2031/32, meaning even more teenagers can pursue their career of choice as part of the NHS.

“To meet these ambitions, we need to make sure that young people have the confidence to be able to reach their career ambitions and our Step into the NHS programme will hopefully support many of them with the job-seeking skills they need.”

Health Minister Andrew Stephenson said: “I am delighted to see so many teenagers aspire to join the NHS – it is where they can find some of the most rewarding careers on offer.

“We need this kind of enthusiasm to nurture the next generation of world class doctors and nurses and offer patients the highest quality care.

“The NHS’ Long Term Workforce will support their development – doubling the number of medical school places to 15,000, nearly doubling the number of nursing training places and offering more degree apprenticeships so staff can earn while they learn.”

Finding the right career path can be overwhelming, and to assist the NHS has designed a Find your Career quiz to discover the NHS careers that match your interest.

Discover more about NHS roles, apprenticeships, and how to kickstart your career here.   (please hyperlink this)