COLUMN: College is a springboard to care and education careers

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According to latest statistics, the NHS employs 314,966 qualified nursing staff and health visitors, 25,418 midwives, 23,066 GP practice nurses, and 18,862 qualified ambulance staff across hospital and community healthcare services and within doctors’ surgeries.

Additionally, there are an estimated 452,100 early years staff working in various settings or as childminders.

Whether caring for adults, children or even animals, West Nottinghamshire College’s school of care and education provides young people with the right skills and qualities to develop careers in these industries. With a wide range of study programmes across all levels, we offer students a seamless progression to achieve their goals and aspirations.

Students benefit from extensive work placements, gaining valuable hands-on experience that develops their personal and professional skills alongside their technical learning.

Early years students have been on trips to the National Holocaust Museum and the International Slavery Museum, increasing their understanding of discrimination, equality and British Values. Animal Care students have visited local zoos and wildlife parks to enhance their studies.

More recently, a group of health and social care students spent two weeks in France through a link-up with a local college – aiding their vocational learning and appreciation of different cultures. As a result, they developed confidence, resilience and broadened their knowledge of diversity in their chosen profession.

We take great pride in our excellent provision for students with learning difficulties or disabilities; ensuring they learn in a nurturing, safe and inclusive environment. Students with additional needs are acquiring valuable independence and life skills which enable them to become more confident.

Some regularly work on a project in the local community and are developing their customer service skills, which is preparing them for the world of work. A supported internship programme in partnership with Mencap has been particularly successful this year.

Students across the school of learning actively take part in charity fundraising events. We’ve seen them hone their enterprise skills by running a daily tuck shop, while others have raised money for a homelessness charity by spending a night away from home on a sponsored sleep-out. These are just some of the engaging and exciting activities that have taken place throughout the year.

Many students progress to university after college to pursue their dreams of becoming nurses, primary school teachers, midwives, social workers and paramedics, while others go straight into employment, having gained the necessary skills.

There has never been a more exciting time to study here. For those who want to build a career in the care or education sector, the college is an excellent starting point.