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Graduate nurses unemployed

6th July 2007

Government figures show that almost one third of newly qualified nurses had not found a job six months after qualifying.

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The government survey, carried out in March, also showed that more than half of physiotherapist graduates were unemployed, along with one in five midwives.

Between May and September 2006 about 9,000 nurses qualified but only 69% were employed six months later, meaning nearly 3,000 were unemployed. About 80% of midwives had found jobs, but only 48% of physiotherapists had done so.

Dr Peter Carter of the Royal College of Nursing said he had heard “worrying stories? from nurses who had recently qualified but were unable to find a job because of health trusts imposing a vacancy freeze at some levels to save money.

“Not only is this a waste of tax payers money but it is a waste of new and much needed nursing talent,? he said.

The Department of Health said it expected vacancies to become available in the normal cycle of staff turnover.

A spokesperson said: “The NHS currently has a healthy supply of new graduates thanks to increased investment in training, at a time when the NHS has hit a surplus. This does not mean unemployment, it means there is keen competition in some parts of the country.?

The DoH said a lot of work is under way to ensure graduates are placed, to maximise employment possibilities.

In April, the Social Partnership Forum Action Plan was launched to boost employment opportunities for newly qualified healthcare professionals in the NHS.

 

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