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Occupational Therapist Return to Work Programme

Location: Essex, based in one of Essex Council’s regional quadrants:

Start date: May 2019

Programme: Return to practice programme

You know what it takes to be a great Occupational Therapist. After all, you used to be one. Perhaps you’ve been exploring the world, or spending time with your family, or just needed some time out. Whatever the reason, if you’ve taken a career break and want to be supported to become HCPC registered and have the chance of a permanent role in an award winning, high performing council then Essex County Council’s (ECC) paid Return to Work Programme is made for you.

ECC know that getting back into the profession after a period away from work can be tough. This is about giving you the time and support you need to readjust and redevelop your skills. This is why they have created this programme; it’s specifically designed to refresh your knowledge and skills and boost your professional confidence.

About Essex Council

Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dynamic local authorities in the UK, serving a population of 2 million residents,and has a very successful track record of delivering transformational change. ECC anticipated change was needed in the public sector and has worked to deliver better quality at lower cost. They have an ambitious transformation agenda – one with the scope to reach every part of the council. They are changing the way they think, the way they work, and the ways in which they deliver their services. They are committed to becoming a place where individuals, partners and communities feel proud to play their role and genuinely want to belong. They’re immensely proud of their flexible working options.

ECC has transformed to be far more proactive. Their new model has moved from focusing on long term care and support and is now centred on early intervention, recovery and enabling people to live independently for as long as possible. Their mission is to make the best and most sustainable use of all resources available to the adult, their families and carers; to ensure they have access to information and tools to enable them to live healthily and independently for as long as possible; and to exercise choice and control over their lives, while ensuring safety, dignity and quality of life for all the adults they work with, including those in need of long term care.

What does the Programme offer?

During the first 14 weeks you’ll be employed and paid as a support worker and get a salary and benefits package in line with this role. Towards the end of the 14 week programme, you will be eligible to re-register with the HCPC. Once this has happened, your role will ‘convert’ to a permanent Occupational Therapist role and your salary and benefits package will be in line with this. When you have been in employment as a qualified Occupational Therapist for one year you will also be given a ‘well-done’ bonus of approximately £1,200.

During the programme you’ll benefit from a range of support including:

ECC also has diversity networks including, for example; a Carers’ Network, where working parents can give you support and advice. You’ll also benefit from their organisation-wide support including their Employee Assistance Programme.

Who are they looking for?

The programme is open to those professionals who have taken a career break of two to five years for whatever reason. Examples could include time out for travelling, recovering from an illness, disability-related leave, or just time out to refocus and re-energise.

Successful candidates will:

The programme is not open to:

Work arrangements are negotiated on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the individual and business needs. They will consider flexible working practices providing it doesn’t affect group training sessions or business needs in the quadrant you will be working in.

You will be eligible for annual leave during the 14 week programme, in accordance with ECC’s holiday policy and procedures.

How do I apply?

Please send your CV and cover letter to stating in the subject line which geographical area is best for you within Essex. Please include details of your career break (including relevant dates) so it’s clear that you’re eligible and they can see what extra dimension your time away has added. If you don’t have a CV to hand, you’ll find a free template you can use here. The application deadline is 31 March 2019.

Successful candidates will be contacted for a telephone interview with one of their experienced recruiters to learn more about your skills and experience, your motivation for returning to the workplace and career aspirations. They will also ask your permission to contact your referees. If you are successful at this stage you will then be invited to an interview with a hiring manager from the geographical area you have applied to join.

They’ll be as flexible as they can in arranging interviews at a time that suits you. The purpose of this interview is to assess your skills and experience against the critical requirements of the role you have applied for. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask questions about the role, the programme and the team.

If you have any questions please email putting Return to Work Programme in the subject line.