A HUNDRED jobs have been created in the NHS thanks to an initiative to help young people whose career opportunities have been hampered by the pandemic.

North of England Care System-Support (NECS), which employs 1,600 staff across England, launched its NECS 100 Programme in response to the economic challenges arising from the Covid-19 crisis.

The aim was to create employment opportunities for recent graduates, or those wanting to complete on-the-job training and apprenticeships.

As a result, 100 recruits – mainly young people – have now been appointed to posts across NECS, a NHS body which supports health and social care customers in achieving strategic objectives.

Stephen Childs, NECS’ managing director, said: “We are so proud to be able to offer these employment and training opportunities to people who may have been wondering if the chance to realise their potential would ever come.”

Michelle McGuigan, NECS’ Organisational Development and Corporate Services Director, added: “The NECS 100 Programme shows our commitment to make life-changing improvements to communities. We are delighted to play our part in helping to train individuals and develop their skills.”

Matthew Morris, one of the graduates on the NECS 100 Programme, is now working as a graduate project support officer in the communications department.

Matthew, 22, from Chester-le-Street, graduated from Leeds Beckett University with a degree in public relations when the pandemic was at its height last year, and was thrilled to join NECS in February.

He said: “Graduating in an uncertain and fraught jobs market gives many young people anxieties about their immediate and long-term careers, so I’m very thankful for the fantastic opportunity I’ve been given with NECS.

“It’s such an exciting and rewarding role, which has included dealing with Covid-19 queries from MPs, as well as supporting internal communications. Getting a job in Government communications was always my ambition, but I thought I’d have to go to either London or Scotland to achieve it.

“Instead, I’ve been given the chance to gain invaluable experience in my home region, and it’s been a wonderful start to my career.”

The NECS 100 Programme provides three potential routes into employment – a graduate programme, apprenticeships, and graduate internships – with participants joining a diverse range of teams across the organisation.

  • To find out more go to: www.necsu.nhs.uk