Careers In Care Plan For Students

Health chiefs in the North West are forging new links with schools to encourage students into careers in the health service.

Altnagelvin Hospital was today gearing up for a major conference to be held tomorrow to highlight career opportunities in health and social care

Around 200 students will attend the event, part of a careers initiative being launched linking schools with health and social care employers in the area.

The ‘Ambition – Health and Social Care’ initiative aims to encourage school leavers to think about health and social care as a future career.

Careers in administration, IT, catering, speech therapy, radiology and physiotherapy, engineering and other trades are also available within the health service.

Partners include Foyle Trust, St Cecilia’s Secondary School, Lisneal College, North West Institute of Further and Higher Education, Westcare Business Services, the Careers Service and FOSEC.

The former National Health Service University (NHSU) is leading the project.

As part of the initiative, healthcare staff will ‘adopt a class’ and visit schools to talk to students about their roles and responsibilities and the career opportunities available.

Altnagelvin’s chairman, Gerard Guckian, said many young people who are not interested in nursing or medicine might dismiss the health service as a potential employer, not recognising that there is a whole infrastructure necessary to support clinical staff.

“The initiative links the needs of school leavers with the needs of the biggest employers in the area. Not only does it meet a number of health and social services objectives, such as recruiting from the local community, and better retention rates leading to fewer long-term vacancies, but it also contributes to the curriculum needs of the local educational authorities,” he added.