From education to employment

Coleg Gwent supports learners with additional learning needs to take on health and social care internships

This International Day of Disabled Persons (03 December), Coleg Gwent is shining a light on some of the students stepping up to take on supported internships at Nevill Hall Hospital, through the Care as Currency scheme

Founded through a partnership of local health and social care providers and educators — including the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Coleg Gwent, Gwent Regional Partnership and University of South Wales — the Care as Currency scheme aims to encourage more students from South Wales to pursue roles in health and social care.

In addition to helping them develop their employability skills, the course also strives to develop a new generation of much needed candidates within the health and social care workforce. 

Part of the scheme sees those with additional learning needs, from Coleg Gwent’s Independent Living Skills (ILS) course, taking on supported internships three days a week at Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny. 

The learners have been working alongside facilities staff in a range of different roles, including porters, cleaners, ward hostesses, receipt and distribution stores, admin services, and medical records. 

This is the third year Nevill Hall Hospital has been involved in the scheme, with both hospital staff and learners benefiting from the partnership. 

Luke Porter, a learner currently taking part in the internship, working in the health records department, commented on his experience:

“I like working in the hospital’s record department, because it is a peaceful environment, and the staff are all very friendly and helpful.

“I have become a lot more confident since starting the role and have gained social and organisational skills, which are helping me become a lot more independent.” 

Harley Jones, another learner currently taking part in the internship, working on the reception desk, said:

“My favourite part of the job is getting to meet and help people every day — I am a people person, so love being around so many new people. 

“Working on the reception has really helped me to build my confidence and improve my work skills — I now want to get a part-time job and eventually build up to a full-time job.”  

Sophie Rimmer, ILS Lecturer at Coleg Gwent said:

“Being a part of the Care as Currency initiative is really important to us at Coleg Gwent. We understand the value of being able to provide local learners with the tools for a fulfilling, future career in health care.

“The learners taking part in the supported internships are a great example of how much can be gained from the programme — it’s been fantastic to watch their confidence grow over the last few weeks. Not only does the programme provide students with the opportunity to gain real-world experience while studying at Coleg Gwent, but it also prepares them for a successful future career after college. We look forward to seeing them continue to progress throughout the remainder of the course.”

For more information on the additional learning needs support offered at Coleg Gwent, please visit here.

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