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`Step into NHS’ day held to help meet health service employment needs

Tees Valley Unlimited, Tees Valley Learning Provider Network (TVLPN), South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Careers & Enterprise Company have joined forces in a careers initiative to help meet the future employment needs of the health service.
The ‘Step into NHS’day, which comprised informative and interactive workshops, proved a success with a full complement of nearly 140 students, aged 15 to 18, from Stockton, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough, attending The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

The plan now is to hold similar sessions regularly throughout the year.

Among the disciplines that came under the spotlight were physiotherapy, medical physics, speech, language and occupational therapy and dietetics with medical professionals on hand to discuss the career entry routes and what their duties and work entailed.

The interactive workshops included:

  • Medical physics where hi-tech tools and devices used to deliver radiotherapy physics, nuclear medicine and physiological measurement services were demonstrated. Students were able to experience negotiating a slalom using a wheelchair controlled by a chin-operated joystick.
  • Students being shown and putting in to practice a range of life-saving skills such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Linda Edworthy, Director of Strategy and Investment at Tees Valley Unlimited, the Local Enterprise Partnership for Tees Valley, said: “The health and social care sector makes an important contribution to the area’s economic productivity by providing a broad range of job opportunities and helping people maintain and regain their health to be able to stay in or get back to work.

“We must sustain the supply of young people entering this sector and the ‘Step into NHS’ initiative is aimed at raising awareness of the employment opportunities and skills requirements, as well as whetting young people’s appetites for a career in this arena.

“The interactive environment at ‘Step into NHS’ will have helped raise young people’s aspirations and equipped them with the necessary careers knowledge to enable them to make well-informed decisions about their future.”

Jo Thompson, Marketing & Specialist Project Officer at the Tees Valley Learning Provider Network, said: “The Tees Valley Learning Provider Network, along with its partners, has devised an informative and inspiring event, to encourage young people to consider career options within the NHS.

“It is important for key partners, such as employers like the NHS, to have open dialogue with schools to raise awareness of what career options are open to young people in the health sector.

“This has been a fantastic example of learners engaging in practical interactive activities delivered by experts across the spectrum of NHS-related careers including Pharmacy, Occupational Therapy and Medical Physics.

“We are very pleased with the outcome and hope to repeat this success at other events in the future.”

Stuart Marsden, Clinical Scientist at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are pleased to have hosted this event with the support of our key partners.

“It is important to highlight current and future skills requirements and raise awareness of the career paths that are available to young people.

“The pupils were given a demonstration of a routine day in various departments and a glimpse of the diverse range of work done by different healthcare professionals in a large and busy hospital. This will allow them to make an informed decision about pursuing a career within the NHS.”