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2007 Health Care Service Group Conference
20 December 2006
Carried as Amended

Conference notes the financial difficulties currently facing the NHS and the effect that this is having on staffing levels.

Conference expresses its concern that job freezes within the NHS are having a profound effect on the number of jobs available for new graduates in the health professions, including those completing their training in occupational therapy.

Conference further notes that the vast majority of students accrue high levels of debt training for their careers in the NHS, and many are now having difficulties finding work in their chosen field.

Conference believes that this may have a negative effect on the number of students considering taking health degree courses in the future and could result in long-term workforce capacity problems.

Conference, therefore, calls upon the Service Group Executive to:

1.look to establish what proportion of new occupational therapy graduates and other health professionals are unable to secure jobs upon graduation;

2.highlight to the government and NHS Employers the lack of work for graduates in these areas as a cause of great concern;

3.urge the government and NHS Employers to examine the options available to them to provide new graduates in these professions with work, including the possible option of one year’s guaranteed work after graduation within the NHS;

4.urge branches to make sure they are involved in local discussions around workforce and strategic planning to help ensure that future graduates in these professions are not faced with problems finding work upon completion of their course.