Sunderland College has launched a new Health and Care project designed to bring the classroom and the world of work closer together.
Part of the Ford Next Generation Learning programme, in partnership with North East LEP and the Edge Foundation, the unique initiative will see students answer a real-world issue in the Health and Care sector over the next eight weeks.
The students, from the College’s Level 2 Health & Social Care course, have been tasked with promoting the varied career pathways within Health and Care to their peers and school leavers while thinking carefully about the stigmas and myths which often surround jobs in the industry.
Considering their target audience, the students will harness the power of social media to engage young people through a fully interactive campaign.
Throughout the project, which will also enhance transferrable skills as well as Maths and English including oracy skills, they will receive regular feedback on their ideas from experts such as Skills for Care, Creo Communications and Sunderland Care, as well as Education Partnership North East’s marketing team.
Their final product and campaign will then be presented in November.
Nenagh Clark, Quality, Teaching, Learning & Assessment Manager, said: “Project-based learning is a teaching and learning approach which provides our students with an excellent opportunity to tackle a real-life industry relevant brief.”
Judith Quinn, Interim Deputy Principal, Curriculum added: “The community connected learning used throughout our Ford NGL programme develops the employability skills, knowledge and behaviours so important to give our Health students the edge for their future education and careers.”
The pioneering Ford Next Generation Learning programme benefits young people, communities and local economies by addressing skills shortages and youth unemployment through embedding community connected and project-based learning in study programmes.
Students can see the relevance of this style of teaching, how to apply their knowledge in the real world and are able to make informed decisions about their progression.
Emily, Leah and Ellie, who are taking part in the project, said: “It is a different style of learning, however it allows you to be more hands on and gives you independence allowing you to make group decisions. Having the involvement from the Health and Care industry gives you a much better perspective and makes it more realistic.”
Industry alignment support officers, recruited by North East LEP, will work directly in schools and colleges to help them better engage with local businesses and apply real-life work situations to the curriculum.
Wendy Adams, locality manager at Skills for Care, a charity which works with adult social care employers in England to set standards and qualifications, added: “Recruiting people with the right skills and values is essential for the social care sector.
This project is a great opportunity for employers to engage with social care students to help them develop a better understanding of the wide range of social care roles available.
“Having had the chance to meet some of the students, I was so impressed at their enthusiasm and commitment and look forward to seeing the end results of their projects.”
With the NHS and Health sector under increased pressure during unprecedented times, Education Partnership North East is leading the way in producing the next generation of frontline health care professionals.
Challenging the growing skills gap across the region, the group has invested millions of pounds in facilities such as state-of-the-art ‘Health Hubs’ across its Colleges.
Featuring a hospital ward, treatment room and sluice area with patient mannequins, a self-contained apartment to mirror a modern home care environment, mock ambulance interior and real care infant simulators among other industry standard facilities, the Hubs ensure students gain vital skills and experience within professional working environments
In 2017, more than 96% of health and social care graduates from across the College group progressed to employment or further study.
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Our achievement rates are well above the national average.
We are the College of the Year.
(*Top college nationally for BTECs, Pearson 2019)
100% of our HND and HNC students progressed to employment or further study.
(*Destination data, academic year 2016/17, HNC 19+)
We have recently invested £50 million in our facilities.