Widening participation


Many organisations, large and small, reach out to the local communities around them and engage with residents to widen participation. This not only enables them to embed themselves further within the community, it helps them forge links with potential new employees.

This section shares top tips to support your organisation to widen participation.

Key challenges

  • Educational attainments, particularly maths and English GCSE, are below average in the region
  • Digital access and literacy
  • Limited awareness of opportunities available
  • Levels of confidence and experience


  • Valuable opportunity to work directly with under-represented groups
  • Tackles health inequalities by addressing the social determinants of health
  • Helps ‘grow your own’ workforce supply to address short and long term recruitment challenges

Takeaway tips

Establish community access points

Create priority access to jobs

Undertake locality based recruitment activity

Case studies

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) has a dedicated Widening Participation Team that delivers programmes aimed at attracting and recruiting local people. The team works closely with local schools, colleges and organisations to widen participation and increase access to and raise awareness of its career opportunities.

Learn more

Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust

Almost 60% of Northern Care Alliance (NCA) staff are from the local community. Like MFT, NCA has a Widening Participation Team that’s dedicated to opening up better opportunities for local people to access NHS careers and develop in their role.

Learn more

Useful links and resources