Inspired by or thinking of working for the NHS? You're not alone! Google search data reveals a massive surge of interest in NHS jobs as more people look to the health and care sector for careers this year.
Major public support for the NHS is a positive story to come out of the pandemic. As the nation stepped up to show encouragement and initiatives like clap for carers put key workers in the spotlight, interest in NHS jobs has skyrocketed.
In March this year, Google searches for 'work for the NHS' jumped by a massive 333% compared to the same time in 2019. That's a lot of interest!
In fact, searches for NHS jobs are the highest they've been in 10 years according to our research, increasing by 315% since 2010, and hitting their highest-ever peak in March and April 2020.
The trend shows no signs of slowing, with searches for 'NHS jobs' continuing to rise into July across the UK, especially in the following areas:
|Where are the most searches for 'NHS jobs' coming from?|
|1. Leeds – 13%||6. Liverpool – 10%||11. Stoke-on-Trent – 8%|
|2. Bournemouth – 13%||7. Oxford – 10%||12. Southampton – 8%|
|3. Plymouth – 12%||8. Portsmouth – 9%||13. Coventry – 8%|
|4. Birmingham – 11%||9. Leicester – 9%||14. Bristol – 8%|
|5. Sheffield- 11%||10. Manchester – 9%||15. London – 6%|
Renewed Support for the NHS
Despite being one of the largest employers in the world with around 1.5 million people on the books, the service desperately needs new workers to join the ranks and an inspired new generation who see the benefits of working for the NHS.
One of the biggest challenges facing the service today is the workforce gap, which could lead to a shortage of almost 250,000 people by 2030, with one of the largest set to be in nursing. It's already a problem, with around 68% of Brits saying the quality of care is the main thing they love about the NHS, with 62% saying lack of staff is equally disappointing.
Fortunately, 'work for the NHS' Google searches turned into something tangible this year. Between March and April, there were over 900,000 visits to the NHS jobs website, and over 400,000 people applied for a job.
Careers of the Future
Alongside interest in NHS jobs growing, so has an interest in healthcare at uni. Latest UCAS figures for 2020 show university applications have increased this year for medicine & dentistry and subjects allied to medicine, which includes everything from Neuroscience and Physiology to Nursing and Midwifery. At the same time, applications for nursing degrees have risen by 15% in 2020.
How to apply for work experience in the NHS
Work experience at the NHS is a great way to gain practical experience in either the 'clinical' field, which includes patient-related areas in nursing or medicine, or 'non-clinical' fields in areas like engineering or administration. Most roles require training, and clinical positions often require higher education.
The best way to apply for work experience in the NHS is to:
- Shortlist the NHS career areas you are most interested in
- Ensure you have a comprehensive CV
- Find and contact your closest NHS Trust and ask to speak to their HR or learning and development department
- Explain that you are looking to do some work experience and ask to speak to the person in charge of work experience or voluntary placements
- Ask for an information pack and application form – each trust will have its own procedures and deadlines
- Once your form is submitted, you may be required to attend an interview, which would be similar to a typical job interview