Newly-qualified physiotherapists looking for jobs were in a much better position than their colleagues who graduated in the past couple of years, CSP chief executive Phil Gray told the Students Conference.
Mr Gray said the direct result of constant lobbying by the CSP and its ‘active student body’ had been a vast improvement in the number of young physiotherapists finding work.
The CSP’s own survey showed that in November 2008, 61 per cent of that year’s graduates had found a physiotherapy job. This compared with just 23 per cent during the low point of November 2006.
‘We have been through some very dark days, but things are looking an awful lot better,’ Mr Gray said. Now the emphasis was on young physios helping themselves, he said.
Mr Gray urged students coming to the end of their courses to register with the talent pools created by strategic health authorities in the area where they are studying. He said jobs were being provided through some talent pools, but a lack of registered physios meant opportunities were being missed.
He also stressed that physiotherapists must either attend interviews they had been selected for, or inform potential employers that they could not do so. ‘We are getting complaints from managers around the country that people are not turning up to their interviews,’ he said.
Mr Gray warned that universities had cut their intake of physiotherapy students, leading to a possible shortage of qualified physios in years to come. He said students could help end this cycle of boom and bust by promoting the profession of physiotherapy.
‘You have to make the case for physiotherapy because if you don’t, doctors won’t, nurses won’t and NHS managers won’t.
‘You can go out and demonstrate, not just how we will practise physiotherapy better, but advocate for the ways that we can help to deliver healthcare better in the future.’