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Care Academy, News

Student wins award for making a real difference during work experience

 

Health and social care student Obed Adomako was praised for his sensitive and understanding approach at this year’s Care & Support West (CSW) Care Awards.
 
Obed, a second year student at Bath College, won an award at the ceremony for time spent volunteering as a frontline care worker for healthcare company Dimensions.
 
The 19-year-old completed a three-month work experience placement at accommodation on Rivers Street, Bath, helping people with daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning and shopping.
 

 
He was invited to a special dinner at the Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol after being nominated for the award by Jane Colenso, BANES Locality Manager at Dimensions.
 
Obed said: “I enjoy doing work experience, seeing how everything works in practice helps you learn quicker.
 
“Most of the people I was working with had impaired movement, so helping them to get back on their feet was really satisfying.
 
“I would go in once a week to help out for a full day, I was there from 8am to 3pm, so I got to know people fairly well.
 
“Just seeing them smile makes it worth it, I’d definitely do it again.”
 
Jane, who was Obed’s placement supervisor, said: “In the short time that Obed has been working for Dimensions, he has made a real difference.
 
“He supported a service user who had become withdrawn and felt unable to leave his flat, helping him to clear the paved area in front of his flat.
 
“His gentle and encouraging approach has helped to inspire the service user, fostering his wellbeing and enabling him to take an interest in the wider world and his local community.
 
“Nothing seems too much trouble for Obed, he has impressed with his conscientious and person-centred approach and has fitted in well with all members of the team.”
 
Health and social care students at Bath College can progress onto a wide range of higher education courses, including nursing, midwifery, primary teaching and psychology. Some go straight into caring roles and may choose an apprenticeship route.
 
As part of their course, Level 3 students need to do 300 hours of work experience and aim for three different placements.
 
In December, students will be invited to apply for work experience through the Bath College Care Academy, which will enable students to have structured work experience opportunities linked to local employers.
 
Successful students will spend time on rotation working for Somerset Care, Sirona Care & Health, Dimensions, Way Ahead Care, the Royal United Hospital and Swallow, a charity for teenagers and adults with learning disabilities.
 
Obed, from Bristol, grew up in Italy and came to the UK when he was 16-years-old, originally enrolling at college to study for his GCSEs.
 
He hopes to go on to study physiotherapy at university and is currently looking for work experience in this area.
 
He said: “Being nominated for the award has given me the motivation to put in 100 per cent at all times, because you don’t know who will be watching your work and where it will take you.
 
“Sometimes it’s hard finding work experience, but it always pays off. This experience will really help me when I come to do my personal statement for university.”
 

Care Academy, News

Preparing for employment: Students take part in hundreds of mock interviews

 

Students from across Bath College have been preparing for employment with a series of mock interview sessions.
 
The college’s Futures Team organised 137 interviews over two days for students who will finish their courses in the summer.
 
Students studying sport, performing arts, business and travel and tourism got a taste of what it’s like to face scrutiny in an interview situation.
 
A wide variety of businesses offered to help on the day, including the Bath Building Society, Barclays, ESPA UK and solicitors Lyons Davidson.
 

 
Employability adviser Lucy Beattie said: “This was an invaluable experience for students. To have employers who they hadn’t met conduct real interviews and give feedback will hugely help them when they come to job and further education interviews.
 
“The interviews helped them learn how to answer standard interview questions, and to see their CVs from an employers’ point of view.
 
“The feedback has been hugely positive, with at least three employers wanting to see candidates again to interview for real jobs and work experience being offered on the spot.”
 
Health and social care students also took part in a day of interviews with industry professionals as part of the Bath College Care Academy.
 

 
Employers visiting the college included Creative Youth Network, St Monica Trust, Way Ahead Care, Dimensions, Youth Connect and the Royal United Hospitals Bath.
 
Freya Game, 19, is a first year student studying Level 3 health and social care, and took part in the Dimensions group interview.
 
She said: “It was really helpful talking to them and being able to give us tips. It wasn’t as intimidating as I expected and I’d feel a bit more confident going into this kind of interview situation now.
 
“I’m not sure what area of care I want to go into yet, but I would consider working with Dimensions because this has been really interesting.”
 
Nick French, recruitment manager for St Monica Trust, is looking for 100 care workers for Keynsham’s Chocolate Quarter.
 
He said: “It’s just nice to get that connection with people who are at the beginning of their careers.
 
“I understand how difficult it is when people are starting out in their careers. It’s a catch 22 situation: it’s difficult to get the job without experience, and it’s difficult to get the experience.
 
“It’s about seeing what people can bring to the role, and from my point of view, what you can do to improve the recruitment process as an employer.”
 

 
Motor vehicle students studying for a Level 2 diploma were part of interview sessions with Mon Motors on Thursday April 4.
 
HR manager Sally Wade, dealer’s personal assistant Toni Preston and sales manager Barry Russell gave up their time to meet the students.
 
They prepared feedback, assessing students on the way they answered questions and how they prepared for the interview.
 
Lecturer Glyn Mountjoy said: “It gives them that experience of being interviewed by professionals in the motor industry. Some of the students were nervous because it’s the first time they have been put in front of anybody in an interview situation.
 
“The course is there to progress them into employment and this is part of it. The feedback will show how they can improve on their interview skills.”
 

Care Academy, News

Bath College Care Academy: Students learn from professionals in the health and social care sector

 

Professionals working in the health and social care sector volunteered their time to work with students at Bath College, passing on knowledge and expertise during a busy and interactive employability day.
 
The day marked the launch of the college’s Care Academy, designed to link health and social care students with a wide range of employers working in the South West.
 
Last year, Bath College was awarded £40,000 worth of government funding to kick-start the Care Academy and recruit an academy coordinator.
 
As a result, the college has been working with its Care Academy partners to strengthen training, increase work experience opportunities, and help students find employment within the health and social care sector.
 
Students studying at the college had the chance to meet professionals working in a variety of health and social care roles over the course of the day.
 

 
Third year student Lauren Pearl, 17, said: “I’ve been learning about mental health issues and talking about how you can help people who have an addiction.
 
“This is my final year at college and it has definitely helped me to speak to these health professionals, who have given me a lot of useful information.”
 
Dawn Corse, an occupational therapist with Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, led a workshop demonstrating the best way to communicate with people with dementia.
 
Media make-up and drama students were involved in the workshop, preparing a role-play about a dementia patient and her carer.
 
Throughout the day, students met representatives from Sirona care & health, Creativity Works, BANES Youth Connect & Health, Dorothy House, Bath Mind, Action on Addiction, healthcare company Dimensions and the Red Cross.
 
They also learnt how to use a hoist and move patients with limited mobility during a workshop led by Les Taylor and Rachael Sheppard, from Way Ahead Care.
 

 
Claire Hurford, from Way Ahead Care, said: “We’ve been working with the Care Academy from the beginning. If we start working with these students now, they will come to us with more experience and be work-ready.
 
“It’s about showing students what career routes they can take and how they can progress. I started as a community care and support worker, and now I’m working as a care manager.
 
“We know there’s a huge deficit for social care staff and, as people are living longer, we need more staff working with people to help them stay in their homes.”
 
Lilly Webb, widening participation officer at Bath RUH, was part of a team showing students how to resuscitate someone using CPR.
 
She said: “For us it’s great to have an opportunity to spend time with Bath College students to help them understand what a career in health looks like and to help them gain relevant skills and knowledge.
 
“Last year we ran a pilot programme, with Bath College students coming into the RUH. This was really successful and we hope to be able to welcome some more students this year.”
 
Sally Wilson, Care Academy Coordinator, said: “There has been a real buzz in the Care Academy today, with students sharing their experiences with staff and their peers. The variety of workshops on offer was fantastic and gave them a real insight into the broad range of careers and environments they could work in within the sector. We are very grateful to all network partners who have facilitated exciting sessions today.”
 
Next week, Bath College will launch an eight-week pilot course for students and care home workers in partnership with Creativity Works.
 
The course, taught on Tuesday evenings, will explore the benefit of using the arts in care homes, including drama, visual art, dance and poetry.
 
Spaces are still available for the course, which starts on January 31 and takes place in the evenings between 6pm and 8pm.
 
Visit http://www.creativityworks.org.uk/ or e-mail ailsaeaglestone@zoho.com
 

Care Academy, News

Bath College awarded £40,000 to kick-start new care academy

 

Bath College has been awarded £40,000 worth of government funding to kick-start a new care academy, designed to link students with local employers.

 

The funding, awarded by Health Education England, will pay for an academy coordinator and specialist equipment for practical sessions.

 

Health and social care students will learn how to use equipment in a dedicated space, set up with hoists and hospital beds to prepare them for working with people in their homes.

 

They will also benefit from a new structure of training and work placements, provided by local employers partnering with the Bath Care Academy.

 

Following the launch of the Care Certificate in March 2015, employers must make sure new starters meet an identified set of standards before they can work with patients.

 

The Bath Care Academy aims to make sure students complete the Care Certificate as part of their training and are ready to work in the health and social care sector.

 

Esther Williams, Head of Sport, Leisure and Care, said: “Health and social care for us is a huge growth area, with 210 students currently studying health and social care at the college.

 

“What we are doing is aligning our curriculum with the needs of local employers. The health sector is the largest employer in the West of England, providing 72,400 jobs, and we want to work with employers to ensure that our students are studying programmes that adequately prepare them for those roles.

 

“We’ve set up a healthcare network to strengthen our understanding of the needs of our partners, which include the Royal United Hospital, Way Ahead Care, Dorothy House Hospice and Sirona Care & Health.

 

“We have recognised a need to develop a more structured placement system for students, so they can experience a number of the wide-ranging roles in the sector, and gain an understanding that better prepares them for a job.

 

“The Bath Care Academy coordinator will help us to create a programme that matches learners to organisations, and acts as a pipeline to send students into local employment or apprenticeships on completion of their course.”

 

Health and social care students met employers signed up to the Bath Care Academy on January 12, as part of an employability day. They took part in a networking lunch and attended sessions with employers to learn about opportunities available with each company.

 

Nardina Storey is from the learning and development team at Bath RUH.

 

She said: “We’re trying to engage a younger workforce. In today’s society it’s recognised that we need to invest more in young people. They call us an older workforce, but we’re trying to change that. We’re showcasing work experience opportunities that we can offer young people.”

 

Karen Gleave, from Sirona Care & Health, said: “It’s about trying to give people different opportunities.

 

“They’re not just going to one work placement, so they’re able to make better choices. It’s about giving back to the local community as well, supporting young people onto apprenticeships and career pathways.”

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