Posted by Kayleigh Mcleod on the 14 Mar 2018

Orchard Hill College and Academy Trust welcomed Health Education England (HEE) for a visit to discuss a new project they are working on. HEE are bringing together a new programme of work that focuses on increasing the number of individuals with learning difficulties and disabilities who take up apprenticeships within the NHS. This programme will work jointly across government departments and agencies and NHS Trusts. HEE are currently holding a number of focus groups with organisations, students with SEND and their staff to assist them in developing and informing best practice and resources to support this programme.

As a specialist College and Trust, OHCAT is fully engaged with supporting this initiative and breaking down barriers to employment within the NHS. To facilitate this work three team members from HEE came to meet with a range of staff from the College, the Trust’s Shared Services team and Governing Body at our offices in Sutton. During this session we discussed the barriers our students face when securing employment (including Apprenticeships) and what best practice would look like if we were implementing it within a large organisation.

We then visited Carew Academy in the afternoon where HEE held focus group sessions with students from Year11 and the 6th Form to look at what “Good supported employment” should look like from their perspective. The students discussed their previous work experience placements, what worked and what didn’t and what they would like to happen when starting a new job.

One of the students, a budding journalist, wrote her own story on the visit. Please follow this link to read this.