Telford College has launched a new ‘NHS Hub’, working with hospital trusts around the West Midlands to share best practice, create job opportunities, and help to shape its curriculum.
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The college already has more than 15 years of experience working with local NHS organisations, and the hub has been designed as a forum to develop even closer working relationships.
Among the NHS trusts already involved are Shrewsbury and Telford, Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt near Oswestry, Royal Wolverhampton, and the Midlands Partnership Foundation in
Sue Gomer, assistant principal for employer engagement at Telford College, said: “We support over 5,000 students, and many of these want a career in sectors which are supported within the NHS.
“It’s not just about doctor and nurses – hospital trusts are some of the biggest employers in our region, and there are literally dozens of different job opportunities available.
“Creating the NHS Hub means we can work closely with all the trusts to promote these opportunities to our students for work experience, and apprenticeship vacancies.
“It also gives us access to key contacts within the trusts who can discuss next step career opportunities at college open events.”
She added: “Working closely with the NHS ensures we are delivering a relevant curriculum that is actively supported – giving it the credibility and confidence that our students need.
“And the hub gives us all a unique opportunity to work in a more collaborative way, and bring key trusts together to improve the way we deliver apprenticeships, and support their recruitment needs.”
Allen Edwards, learning and development officer at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt NHS Foundation Trust, said: “As an employer it is important that we are proactive in supporting our staff with their development, and the NHS Hub with Telford College is a positive step.
“I see this as a way of sharing best practice, concerns and ideas so as to be able to be proactive, rather than reactive.”
Parveen Kumar, work-based learning manager for education and training at Royal Wolverhampton NHS, added: “The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust has had a long-standing working partnership with the college.
“They have supported our staff seeking development through learning programmes which, in the long term, has benefitted our workforce plan.
“Going forward, through this NHS Hub we hope to further increase engagement and opportunities for learning in new ways for everyone through basic skills and apprenticeship programmes.”
And Nicola Sherwood, from the workforce and development directorate of the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Working with the other trusts, and Telford College, will enable us to offer a more cohesive approach for staff development opportunities, sharing best practice and building stronger relationships with students and our future workforce.”