Our Trust has launched a new Virtual Work Experience programme for teenagers to prevent opportunities being missed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Four new programmes in Plastic Surgery, Occupational Therapy, Audiology and Radiology have been launched for 14-16 year-old students.
As the world has changed over the last 12 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic one of the opportunities young people have missed out on is work experience placements. However, our new virtual work experience sessions provided the opportunity to complete work experience from the comfort of their own home or school, using nothing but a tablet or phone.
In a normal year, the Trust would have around 300 young people participating in a work experience placement. However, with this year’s virtual sessions this meant there were more opportunities for high school students to join in, which proved to be successful with more than 115 students joining in throughout just one week of sessions.
The virtual sessions gave the youngsters an opportunity to listen to talks from staff members in the relevant departments, overviews of departments and career routes, videos of relevant department content and also the chance to ask any questions they may have. Each individual that joined one of the sessions will get a certificate of completion.
Salma Sallah, 16, from Bordesley Green Girls School & Sixth Form said: “I applied for this work experience as I was interested in radiology and I wanted to see what being a radiographer would consist of. I also wanted to see what a day in the life of a radiographer would be like, and I’ve learnt that everyday is different which is why this job is really good.
“I enjoyed the stories of the staff that have a career in radiology and listening to their journey as there were many different paths that still lead to the same job. My future job hopefully is being a diagnostic radiographer and this virtual work experience programme helped me as it has made me more passionate and determined in achieving my dreams.
“This programme showed me how good it feels when helping a patient whether it’s a child or an elderly person, it will always make you feel happy. To all the young people out there, have goals in life and try pursue your dreams because working hard always pays off.”
Yasir Iqbal, Aspire BWC Project Lead, said: “The current pandemic saw the suspension of work experience opportunities across the Trust. Young people were therefore missing out on vital experience and access to advice that would help them to choose the right career in the NHS.
“We recognise that we have a role to play in these extreme circumstances and that more can be done to provide opportunities to young people in communities which struggle to access opportunities in the NHS.
“Our virtual work experience initiatives aim to end educational inequality by giving people access to influential and inspirational speakers and work experience in a new virtual format that is accessible and open to all fairly.”