From education to employment



Opportunities to gain new skills and qualifications are due to be showcased by North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) at a dedicated community education event at George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton later this month. The event, on Saturday 27 January 2024, is set to open doors for NHS staff and the local community on the full range of college training opportunities available on their doorstep.

The entire hospital workforce, friends and family and the local community will be able to drop in to find out about study options from maths, English and digital skills to full-time courses including T Levels, higher education, and professional qualifications. In addition, the Talent for Care Team at the hospital will be hosting careers guidance talks for individuals interested in starting an NHS career including existing NWSLC students.

Carrie-Anne Abdulai, Assistant Principal Curriculum, Higher Education and Adult Programmes at NWSLC said,

“This event marks the beginning of a very exciting partnership between the college, George Eliot Hospital and the wider Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust. In recent years, the college’s successful delivery of maths and English skills for hospital staff has cemented our positive working relationship. Recently we have collaborated with the team to launch a programme of Supported Internships at George Eliot Hospital.

“When the hospital’s Talent for Care Manager decided to establish a Community Learning Hub on site, NWSLC was identified as a natural education partner. The Community Learning Hub will offer Skills for Life training in maths, English, and Digital skills six days a week, as well as vocational qualifications to support the ongoing professional development of hospital staff, their friends and family, and the wider community across Coventry and Warwickshire.”

English and maths skills are vital for life learning and work. Securing good levels of literacy and numeracy increases individual productivity and improves earnings and employment opportunities. Individuals who achieved five or more GCSEs at Grades 4 to 9 including English and maths are estimated to have lifetime productivity gains of around £100,000 compared to those qualifications below Level 2 qualifications. The Adult English and Maths Team at North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) aims to equip individuals with the skills they need to improve their career and employment opportunities as well as their future prosperity.

Talent for Care Manager at George Eliot Hospital, Maxine Burns has personal experience of skills training with NWSLC after she turned to the college to help her achieve the maths qualifications that she needed for her degree apprenticeship in double-quick time. Maxine approached the college just ten weeks before the exams in which she needed to achieve Functional Skills qualifications in maths. After a period of intensive self-directed study and the robust support of her tutor, Maxine passed her exams and gained a new appreciation for maths in the process. She is now halfway through her Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship with Manchester Metropolitan University studying alongside peers from across the NHS.

Maxine said, “My tutor was fantastic and really helped me to engage with the subject. It was an intensive period of demanding work, but I discovered that I don’t hate maths after all, and I really enjoyed getting to grips with the subject. Having passed Functional Skills maths exams at Levels 1 and 2, I was accepted on to a degree apprenticeship and travel to Hamilton College in Cambridge once of month studying alongside 35 NHS colleagues. It has been great to develop a fantastic professional peer network and I have learned a lot about many different functions including those within NHS England.

“Once I have completed my degree, I am determined to continue with a Master’s. I am really enjoying my learning journey and it is amazing where it can lead you providing you have the basic building blocks in place. My experience of returning to study with NWSLC has really opened my eyes and I would urge anyone in a similar position to do the same without delay.”

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