On 6th December 2017, we brought together business volunteers, healthcare specialists and medical professionals from across East Anglia, to showcase the exciting opportunities available for young people in the Greater Cambridge region. Organisations taking part included Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Bluebird Care and the University of East Anglia.
The event aimed to introduce over 120 Year 12 and 13 students from Long Road Sixth Form College to the wide range of career opportunities available in the Health and Social Care sector, and the potential pathways into those careers.
By exploring different job roles and meeting professionals in those roles, the students are able to better understand what qualifications and skills they will need to acquire and begin to consider their post-college journey. This will allow the students to make better informed choices and motivate them to succeed in their A-levels and beyond.
Andy Goodwin, Head of Progression and Career Development at Long Road Sixth Form College said: “We think it is very important to open our students’ eyes to the range of careers available to them once they leave college. By holding events like this, we are able to improve their employability skills and introduce them to professionals in different roles, so that they can network, develop links and investigate potential opportunities for the future.”
Each student had the opportunity to meet our volunteers in an interactive careers carousel, where they were able to participate in hands-on activities whilst asking questions about career choices, whats qualifications or skills are required, working conditions, and job responsibilities. They also had the opportunity to attend a series of workshops to develop their career management and employability skills. These sessions covered interview skills, LMI, psychometric testing and midwifery.
Angie McBain-Heilmann MBE, our volunteer from Antwerp Dental Academy said: “I want to share my passion and show young people that dental nursing is a career, not just a job, and there are a range of opportunities available after training. Through meeting students face-to-face and providing an interactive, engaging activity, hopefully they will come away inspired and aware of the different careers available to them in health and social care.”
Some of the interactive activities that the volunteers organised were more unusual than others! Occupational therapists from Addenbrooke’s Hospital asked the students to hit balloons at each other while holding one arm behind their back. This was to demonstrate, in a crude way, how it can feel if you have hemiplegia, which is a weakness on one side of the body. A researcher from the Cambridge Transplant Centre asked students to eat a normal orange segment, then try one that had been frozen in liquid nitrogen. The frozen, then thawed piece was noticeably sweeter, proving that there had been some break down of the cell walls. She explained that this shows that freezing organs causes significant damage, making it an unsuitable method for preserving organs for transport.
Catherine Hay, Form the Future CIC said: “Students can find planning for their futures very daunting. By meeting professionals at their college, they can find out more about the roles available to them in a less intimidating environment. The students were very engaged and were able to learn about a range of careers from midwifery or nursing, to medical research or complementary therapies.”
We offer schools and colleges are wide range of events and programmes that can improve their students’ careers awareness and employability skills. If you would like us to work with your students, or perhaps you’re thinking about volunteering, please get in touch at email@example.com.