An awards event took place at East Sussex College Eastbourne last week to celebrate students completing a pilot industry placement programme within the Trust.
Fifteen Health and Science students from East Sussex College (ESC) have successfully completed a placement in a health or social care setting. The pilot project, created in partnership with the college, ESHT, the Learning Disabilities Team at East Sussex County Council and Health Education England, saw students spend one day a week for 10 weeks in the healthcare environment.
The students, who study a Health or Science subject at ESC in Eastbourne, Hastings or Lewes, went through a rigorous application and interview process to secure their placements. With the support of the mentors in practice, the students had first-hand experience of working in the sector.
Students were joined by family, college tutors and their mentors to celebrate the completion of this pilot industry placement programme.
Rebecca Conroy, principal of East Sussex College Eastbourne, hosted the evening at the Kings Restaurant, at the Eastbourne campus, and identified the project as a precursor to a new government initiative coming in: T-Levels.
Rebecca said, “T-Levels will enable vocational and technical education to have the same parity as A-Levels, and this pilot project was developed with the rollout of T-Levels in this sector in 2021. By looking at high-level industry placement models – and early on – enables students to make decisions a lot sooner about what they want to specialise in.”
Kim O’Connor studies BTEC Level 3 Health & Social Care at the Hastings campus and has a really clear directional plan following her placement. She said, “I was offered this opportunity within the NHS in theatres and scrubbed in for many cases, with my mentor Amy. I observed many orthopaedic cases and learnt about both bone anatomy and person centred care. The placement opened my eyes to the amount of jobs available in the NHS and I now wish to progress to a role in theatres. This experience has been utterly life-changing, and to anyone offered the chance, I would recommend to grab this opportunity with both hands!”
Kim’s mentor, Amy Miller, from the Surgical department at Conquest Hospital, Hastings adds, “Kim really engaged well with this placement and even attended on additional days. I think it’s a brilliant scheme and I’ve really enjoyed being a part of it. I wish this had been around when I was 18. It’s a great pathway for students looking to work in this industry.”
Placements were undertaken in various health and social care settings, including the Surgical departments at both Eastbourne’s District General Hospital and Conquest Hospital, Hastings. Helen Futcher from East Sussex County Council secured placements for students within the Learning Disabilities Service and Angie Jarvis from East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, secured placements across the Trust for students.