“Before I didn’t really know what I wanted to be, but now I now after this event I know that nursing sounds interesting and it is something that I might want to do.” (Student)
Around 200 students thinking about a career in health and social care attended an NHS Careers fair organised by Barnet and Enfield CEPNs at Middlesex University on the 26th March.
This was the fourth year that the careers fair, targeted at students in year 10 and above, has been organised. This year was the best yet. We had over 400 students signed up for the event, with 184 students signing in on the day. Students came from 27 different schools in Enfield, Barnet and other boroughs nearby. There were 33 health and social care organisations involved with over 71 exhibitors. As well as universities and colleges, professionals included:
- Nursing, including Learning Disability nurses, Community Matrons, General Practice nurses and a Midwife.
- Paediatric Urologist
- Pharmacists including pharmaceutical technician
- Therapists including Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists and Art Therapists
- Care Home staff
- Public Health Strategists
- Voluntary sector
We also organised a session “Apprenticeships – A vehicle for careers in health and social care” for parents, students and careers teachers to introduce them to the opportunities that apprenticeships can offer for students. Many of the people who attended said they hadn’t known of or considered apprenticeships as an option for health careers, but would consider it in the future.
After the fair 96% of the students said they’d be interested in a career in health and social care so perhaps in 10 years’ time they will be your colleagues!
“What I get from these events is that I love talking to potential recruits, sharing the love of my job. But also, we get to debunk some of the myths about the London Ambulance Service and also often people don’t know the pathways into it and get people interested in doing it as a job. There’s a wide variety of jobs in the LAS which they may not consider in the first place. Getting to chat to motivated, keen young adults starting out is just brilliant.” Paramedic
Students and parents welcomed the opportunity the fair gave them to talk to professionals who were actually doing the jobs they were interested in doing in the future:
“I have found out about new careers and jobs. Perhaps not that I didn’t know about, but that I didn’t think played such a huge role in health care or were so viable. I didn’t realise that social care and particularly helping people with learning disability was viable if you want to be a healthcare professional.” (Student)
Professionals could network with other professionals in their field and exhibitors said they relished the opportunity to opportunity to share their experiences with students and network with colleagues in similar fields:
“As an Enfield GP, Seeing what other GPs are doing in Barnet is fantastic. Sometimes you do feel a bit isolated as a GP, either within your local community or practice and getting out there and see what others community clinicians are doing is fantastic.” GP.
“We were able to exchange information with others about how we are making a difference in health services” Community matron
We look forward to joining up again with colleagues at Enfield CEPN and Middlesex University to organize another careers fair in the future.