From education to employment

Coleg Gwent leading the way in healthcare provision

Nikki Gamlin

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic earlier this year, healthcare has undoubtedly been thrust into the spotlight. Many colleges have seen an increase in the number of students wanting to pursue a career in this sector and here at @ColegGwent, we absolutely understand the necessity of encouraging this.

With technology advancing, it is an exciting time to be at the forefront of healthcare. Skills gaps are growing in this industry and one of our key roles as a college is to ensure young people have access to these exciting jobs and opportunities.

As a response to this changing landscape, we have launched a new pathway in Health Science as part of our Health Career College. This has been developed in partnership with a number of employers to ensure we are teaching the skills that industry needs. The Career College concept focuses on preparing learners for great jobs in expanding industries – which we recognise as a crucial approach to help re-build the post-Covid-19 economy.

To support our development in this area, we will be moving into our brand-new campus in January 2021: the Torfaen Learning Zone. This £24 million purpose-built campus is situated in the heart of Cwmbran and will welcome learners from our Pontypool Campus.  This fabulous resource will become the home for all post 16 education in the Torfaen borough, ensuring that learners are being taught in a high-quality environment, with industry-standard facilities, which will help prepare them for life after college. With an increasing number of learners studying on care courses and the earlier than planned opening of the amazing Grange University Hospital in Cwmbran, our new campus will enable us to continue to support this vital area.

As a college we work hard to support our wider community. Throughout the pandemic we have supported our local University Health Board by providing training and premises at a difficult time. Working closely with the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board has been of huge benefit to our learners too, with many providing much needed extra capacity and support via placements and volunteering. This has given learners essential experience and a greater understanding of healthcare settings, which will support them greatly as they progress their careers.

Working in partnership with such a key, local employer is crucial, helping us to develop our curriculum. This ensures that everything we teach is relevant to the real world of work and will meet the needs of our healthcare employer partners. Meaningful work placements are also essential and require close working with employers to ensure everyone benefits.

As we continue to live with the ongoing pandemic, never before has it been more important to support our future healthcare system. We are looking forward to developing our provision further and will continue to offer the best progression opportunities possible for all our learners.

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