People & Skills Projects - 13 January 2015

Care sector focus is just the job

Students at a pioneering new school have been finding out about work experience and employment opportunities in the care sector.

VSS - adult social care careers fairStudents Hope Harris, 14, from Shirebrook (left) and Kerisha Brocklehurst, 16, from Mansfield Woodhouse (right) learn more about work placement opportunities at domiciliary care provider Direct Health from its regional recruiter Natalie Tideswell.

Vision Studio School, in Mansfield, staged a careers fair to promote the range of job roles within adult social care and explain the various routes into employment.

Paul McKay, service director for access and public protection at Nottinghamshire County Council, opened the event, on Thursday 8 January, with a talk about the work placement opportunities available.

More than 35 professionals from a host of care-providers held information stands and answered questions from the 75 health and social care students that attended.

Nottingham-based domiciliary care provider Direct Health, which operates in Mansfield and Ashfield, was one of the companies represented.

Its regional recruiter, Natalie Tideswell, said: “This was a great chance to explain to students what domiciliary care is and how it can lead to other professions such as social work and nursing.

“We want to help students get into work, so the careers event was an ideal way of promoting placements within our company, which could possibly turn into full-time employment once they leave school.

“It’s all about giving students a head-start and I was really impressed by their enthusiasm and interest in the sector.”

The school’s principal, Andy Campbell, said: “Opening students’ eyes to the world of work through close engagement with employers is at the heart of what we do. It was fantastic to see students asking lots of questions and thinking about the types of job roles they can aspire to.

“We’re looking forward to staging more of these events and working even more closely with our employer partners.” 

A new type of school for 14-19 year-olds of all abilities, Vision Studio School is the first of its kind in Nottinghamshire. It teaches the same core academic subjects as traditional schools but combines these with vocational qualifications delivered through project-based learning and work placements linked to local employment opportunities.

The school is sponsored by West Nottinghamshire College and opened at its former Chesterfield Road campus last September following a £1.1 million refurbishment.

It currently has 125 students from Year 10 upwards who specialise in either engineering and transport, or health and care. There are plans for this to increase to a capacity of 300 students by its third year of operation.

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