Over 80 young people from schools across Newcastle recently took part in an interactive event to discover the many roles available in the NHS and how they could pursue a career in a healthcare role.
The event, organised by Health Education England (HEE) in the North East and North Cumbria and NE1 Can, a programme managed by NE1 Ltd, the Newcastle Business Improvement District company, brought together healthcare professionals from across NHS Trusts in the region. It allowed students to gain an insight into dietetics, occupational therapy, radiology, physiotherapy, speech and language, surgery, obstetrics, nursing, anaesthesia and dentistry thanks to the expertise from the network of volunteers who kindly offered their time.
This is the third year that NE1 Can has carried out events with HEE in order to offer students in the region an insight into the range of healthcare careers. It was another highly successful event, which Louise Liddle, business network manager at NE1 Can, believes will go some way to addressing some of the workforce issues facing the NHS in the region in the years to come.
She said: “The NHS is the largest employer in the North East with some posts experiencing high vacancy rates for example, learning disability nursing. If we can help to alleviate this problem by encouraging young people to pursue a career in the health service, that is all to the good.
“By liaising with our network of schools and youth providers, NE1 Can was able to engage with pupils who have already expressed some level of interest in the area of healthcare with the aim of reaching out to those who would not otherwise have access to events and information like this.
“Each new career insight day builds on the success and learning of the previous year. It is a hugely rewarding experience because these events open up a raft of career possibilities for students when there is still time for them to make the right subject choices to pursue them.”
Reece, aged 16, a student from St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School Sixth Form, said: “I really enjoyed the day and it gave me a great insight into the type of practical sessions I would get in med school. The day also gave me a greater understanding of the pathway to becoming a fully qualified doctor.”
Richard, 14 from Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy said: “The event was very useful to me as it highlighted how many different jobs there are in the healthcare sector and has inspired me to look into different careers within healthcare to start planning my future”.
Erin, 13, Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy added: “I really enjoyed the day, especially getting hands on with the different types of healthcare equipment and finding out what jobs are like day to day. I now feel much more knowledgeable about the future roles I can apply for and the qualifications I will need to get there.”
Janet Leigh, careers adviser at Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy, said: “As a careers adviser I felt the event was very beneficial to students as it allowed them to explore different career options within the healthcare industry, some they weren’t aware of before. The practical nature of each carousel meant that students in small groups could ask questions and learn about the different roles in a fun and practical way. We would love to bring more students to a similar event.”
Summing up the event, Dr Heidi Stelling from HEE, commented: “Thanks to the collaboration of NE1, HEE colleagues and healthcare professionals we have been able to deliver this fantastic event for students. It is so important that we make students aware of the all the roles available in the NHS.
“HEE is working hard to ensure students of all backgrounds are informed about NHS careers. We strive to widen participation, create equality and motivate the future workforce. It has been a pleasure to engage with students today. They have been very keen and there have been lots of good questions!”
Students from St. Cuthbert’s Catholic High School, St. Mary’s Catholic School, Burnside Business and Enterprise College, Westfield School, North East Futures UTC and Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy attended the sessions.
ENDS / For more information contact Philippa Clothier at Clothier Lacey & Co on 0191 273 9897