We were appointed by Health Education England (HEE) to conduct discovery research to inform the development of a national digital pre-employment service.
Pre-employment activity occurs in many forms across the NHS, including both in-person (e.g. work experience) and online (e.g. watching a video to learn about working in a clinical setting). Annually, approximately 25,000 of these pre-employment opportunities take place in England.
Our research with young learners gave the team evidence to demonstrate that pre-employment opportunities can be unfairly distributed amongst young people. The availability of opportunities has been described as a postcode lottery depending on where people live.
We also found evidence to suggest that nepotism can impact access to work experience opportunities for young people.
Our recommendations sought to create a service that would improve fairness and equity of access to pre-employment opportunities, by making them open and transparent.
To achieve this, we created an end-to-end service blueprint that visualised what this service could aspire to be. We also created and tested low fidelity prototypes with users to influence the design of the service blueprint.
This work informed practical recommendations to help the team understand the steps needed to progress towards the service vision. This included a roadmap documenting immediate steps for the team to progress, and a plan for an Alpha focusing on an application tracking system.