From education to employment

Bracknell and Wokingham College open new Care Skills Training Centre and Pharma Sciences Laboratory

Activate Learning opened their new Care Skills Training Centre and Pharma Sciences Laboratory at Bracknell and Wokingham College on Thursday 12 May. 

The facilities were opened by Gary Headland, CEO at Activate Learning andAlison Webster, Chief Executive of Thames Valley Berkshire LEP. 

Designed in partnership with Syngenta, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, Health Education England and Skills for Care, the industry-standard facilities will be used by students studying science, health and social care, Access to HE healthcare and public services pathways at the Church Road campus. 

Nursing professionals from Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust will also use the care skills training centre as part of their training. 

The new facilities include a state-of-the-art laboratory, featuring industry-standard equipment, an adjoining equipment room, a simulated hospital ward, an immersive environment and a flat. 

Activate Learning was awarded around £500,000 by Berkshire LEP through Government’s Getting Building Fund for the Care Skills Training Centre. They received £600,000 from Berkshire LEP via the Government’s Getting Building Fundfor the Pharma Sciences Lab.  

Councillor Ash Merry, Mayor of the Borough of Bracknell Forest, Councillor Isobel Mattick, Mayoress of Bracknell Forest and Councillor Dai Roberts, Bracknell Town Mayor attended the event along with representatives from local science companies and NHS Trusts including Nicky Burns, Chair of the Thames Valley Federation of Small Businesses, Jim Morton, External Relations & Partnership Manager, Syngenta, Dr Ajay Sharman, Regional Network Lead of STEM Learning, Jacinta George, Managing Director of Reading Scientific Services, Pearly Thomas, Head of Clinical Education, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Nikki Morgan, Learning & Development Manager, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust.  

Teachers from local schools, along with representatives from Wokingham Careers, the University of Reading and Learning to Work also attended. 

Gary Headland, Chief Executive Officer at Activate Learning, said:

“We are delighted to be opening these state-of-the-art facilities that will be of huge benefit to our local community here in the Bracknell and Wokingham area.   

“Healthcare and the sciences are areas of strategic importance to the LEP here and so to work collaboratively with them to provide a joined-up solution to this challenge is fantastic for us here at Activate Learning.   

“This whole project has been delivered in partnership with our local employer partners within the science and health sectors, so this is the culmination of a fantastic team effort that will benefit the local community for years to come.” 

Alison Webster, Chief Executive of Berkshire LEP said,

“The LEP’s 2022 Skills Report highlighted the need to promote sectors such as health and social care and life sciences that are experiencing severe labour shortages but also predicted to continue to grow.  

“We know how important it is to inspire our residents and young people to consider careers in health and social care and life sciences sectors and the facilities that Activate Learning is creating in collaboration with local employers can transform the way that students and professionals can gain skills in these sectors.  

“The value of Further Education is the combination of quality teaching and the real industry experience of those teachers which delivers on employer skills needs.  We are absolutely delighted that these facilities at Bracknell and Wokingham College have been developed in partnership with employers as these will ensure the development of students who are ready to step out of the training facilities and into the workplace.” 

What does the new Care Skills Training Centre offer to learners? 

The outstanding facilities within the Care Skills Training Centre include: 

  • Simulated Hospital Ward  
  • High Tech 360-degree Immersive Environment 
  • A flat for practising care in the home  

The Simulated Hospital Ward, with its simulated mannequins, mirrors a real-life hospital ward, helping students to learn clinical and care skills in a safe but realistic way. The state-of-the-art facility offers learners the opportunity to practise basic and advanced observational skills, first aid, emergency care, drug administration and wound dressing. Each of the beds are monitored via plasma screens and have allocated IT diagnostic equipment to allow more advanced learners the opportunity to practice their skills independently.  

The High Tech 360-degree Immersive Environment transforms an ordinary classroom into an exciting and engaging learning environment. Learners can interact, collaborate and engage in complex situations. The facility allows teachers to connect with learners in a way that would not be possible through a traditional learning environment.  

The flat enables students studying our health and public services pathways to get an insight into what it is like to go to a patient’s house to care for them. It is used as a forensic scene by students studying the new Forensic Science Level 3 Extended Diploma. 

What does the new Applied Science Centre offer to learners?   

The outstanding facilities within the Applied Science Centre include:   

The laboratory will provide a teaching space for biology practicals with access to high-tech instruments and industry-standard equipment. The main laboratory has an adjoining instrument room where our specialist equipment including the PCR machine, electro-phoresies machine and spectrophotometer are stored so that the equipment can be accessed easily from the laboratory.

Find out about our A Levels, Science and GCSE, Health and Social Care: Clinical and Health and Social Care: Social courses

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