Young people considering a career in healthcare will have the opportunity to get an insight into the roles available as the James Paget University Hospital launches a new Health Academy.
The new scheme will see the hospital linking up initially with East Norfolk Sixth Form College on the Senior Health Academy, with staff from the James Paget’s education and training team due to visit the college on Thursday 22 February to talk to students there about the plans.
Anyone at the college interested in a future career in healthcare, whether this be as a nurse, doctor or other health professional, will be invited to apply for the Academy, which will formally launch in September 2018.
Those successful in their applications will continue their studies at the College but will be released for a few days over a six month period to take part in sessions at the hospital’s on-site Education and Training Centre. The sessions are designed to give more information about potential careers, opportunities to progress and what working in a busy hospital is like.
There will also be a Junior Health Academy, with the James Paget team currently working with six local high schools on this, where structured sessions will be offered to up to 40 students at a time, again to give an insight into the routes into the health profession and what students can expect.
Sharon Crowle, Head of Education and Practice Development at the James Paget, says the Academy is another way the hospital is looking to encourage more people into nursing and associated careers.
“We want to attract people into healthcare, which can be a rewarding profession in itself but which also offers lots of opportunities to progress. Our current Director of Nursing started as a student nurse at the hospital and we offer a number of routes into nursing via apprenticeships, and support programmes for our existing staff who wish to progress from domestic or health care assistant roles.
“We want to widen participation by young people who may have an interest in healthcare and a desire to find out more about what it entails. The academy will teach life skills, resilience and communication techniques as well about more about the roles themselves and working at our hospital. There will be recognition for those taking part, including certificates to mark completion of the Academy programme, and we hope this will be a valuable and recognised step into working at the hospital.
“We will be going to the college to talk to students about what the Academy is all about and we will be inviting any students interested to apply by March 1. There will be an interview process for 15 Academy places in April, with a view to getting students in to visit the hospital before the summer and the Academy formally starting in September.
“While initially the programme will be offered via East Norfolk Sixth Form College, we hope to expand this to schools and any other education facilities who might wish to take part.”
Heidi Cullingham, Work Related Learning Coach at East Norfolk Sixth Form College, said; “This is an amazing opportunity for our students to be able to engage in meaningful activities with an employer in the healthcare sector.
“It has been a pleasure to work with the Education Department at James Paget University Hospital and I know that the programme being offered will make a real difference to those fortunate enough to be accepted.”
The hospital is also working with the Network for East Anglian Collaborative Outreach (NEACO). Its Take Your Place programme supports targeted young people from underrepresented backgrounds to progress into higher education.
Andrew Underwood, a Take Your Place Higher Education Champion, has been working with the James Paget University Hospital to shape this project for students looking to go into the health profession.
He says; “To so many young people, higher education is all about university.
“However, as this project shows, there are some fantastic alternatives to university such as Higher and Degree Apprenticeships.
“The James Paget is at the centre of the local community and the associated Health Academy will offer young people from the local area an opportunity to gain valuable experience in healthcare.”