70 students from The Gilberd and Stanway School in Colchester joined us for our Health and Social Care Taster Day, in partnership with Colchester Institute, to take part in a mixture of exciting workshops, and have the chance to meet a range of employers in a marketplace set-up throughout the day. Students in years 9 and 10 joined us, many of whom are on Health and Social Care courses at school, and so had the opportunity to ask questions about courses at Colchester Institute and about jobs with some of the organisations represented on the day.
The day began with a short presentation about the key challenges facing the sector here in Essex and the resulting opportunities for young people, and serving to remind students how lucky they are to live in Colchester with a great college on their doorstep, three Universities within a 30 minute drive (all with a strong Health and Social Care offer, one of which has now become a Medical School) and great companies like the ones represented at the event. Attendees were then split into 4 smaller groups and rotated around workshops led by Medical Mavericks and H&S Care/Dental course representatives from Colchester Institute, plus the employer marketplace session.
In those workshops students got the chance to have a go at keyhole surgery, CPR, extracting teeth and drawing blood from a patient! In addition, exhibitors gave students the chance to wear a GERT suit in order to feel what it’s like for elderly residents suffering the effects of old-age and to take an ECG in order to understand the rhythm and electrical activity of their heart. Pupils heard about the range of learning options and careers in the sector, and spoke to professionals about their own route into Health and Social Care.
Organisers, presenters and exhibitors were struck by how engaged and involved students were on the day, and how they each seized the opportunity to speak to staff and exhibitors about options for the future. It’s our hope that in years to come those that attended the event will one day find themselves studying a course at Colchester Institute or taking up a job in the sector here in Essex.
Feedback from the day was fantastic, with 96% of respondents to date indicating that they felt their understanding of the sector had improved as a result of the event! 61% said that their interest in a career in Health and Social Care had increased as a result of the event too. We asked students to indicate if they were interested in receiving further information about Apprenticeships in Health and Social Care and have had a high number respond positively. We’ll be following up with those students in due course. We also asked attendees what the one thing they’d particularly learned from the event, and were delighted to see responses ranging from ‘There’s a huge variety of jobs [in the sector]’ and ‘You don’t need all A’s to be a success’ to ‘How to do keyhole surgery’!
We are hugely grateful to representatives of Colchester Hospital, Autism Anglia, Zero Three Care Homes, Anglian Podiatry, Anglia Community Enteprise (or ACE), Medical Mavericks and Essex County Council for being part of the event, and passing on their advice and guidance to students interested in Health and Care-related opportunities in years to come. And of course to the team at Colchester Institute who have, as ever, put so much work into making the day such a fabulous event.
We’re working with the College to put on another day like this for local students and if you’re a school that would like to send Year 9-11 students or a company that would like to deliver a workshop/exhibit in the marketplace, get in touch with the ESB Education and Industry STEM Programme team at firstname.lastname@example.org