Drive to recruit more Coventry men into healthcare careers

Coventry University is delivering a project in partnership with NHS trusts to encourage more young men into nursing and other healthcare careers.

Coventry University is encouraging more men into healthcare professions to bridge the gender gap and remove stereotypes around some roles in healthcare.

Over the past decade, the number of male nursing students across the country has remained stagnant at about 10%.

The HealthPro project, funded by the Office for Students, aims to combat problems traditionally face when trying to recruit men into nursing and some other roles.

The university is delivering the project in partnership with NHS trusts and is especially keen to hear from men over the age of 21 who possess transferrable skills and want to switch career.

An NHS study in 2018 found there was still a “stigma” attached to men in nursing and there were not enough role models to challenge this.

A range of novel approaches such as new digital and gamification resources are being developed to drive engagement with a demographic that is notoriously underrepresented in the field of nursing.

To encourage new applicants, the HealthPro team has pulled together the stories of some men who have already made the switch.

One of them is Andrew Proctor, a paramedic with West Midlands Ambulance Service who was previously working in a bomb disposal unit in the British Army.

Andrew said: “My previous role in life was in the military. I was in the Royal Engineers Explosive Ordnance Disposal. The skills I have learned in that field I have been able to emigrate directly across to my new role. It gave me a good, solid foundation to going into healthcare.

“At one point I was in Afghanistan working with Estonians and the Danish as part of a small team, and I think that direct teamwork, being able to organise efficiently, proactively, assess problems and help others, has provided me with invaluable skills that directly transfer across.

Dr Martin Bollard, project lead, commented: “We welcome the opportunity to support the local economy and our health community by working alongside Health Education England (HEE) and other stakeholders across the Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership.”