Educational equality charity Speakers for Schools partners with The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and The NHS Futures Team to give online work experience

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) is partnering with Speakers for Schools to open up virtual work experience programmes for young people in Wolverhampton and surrounding areas. Virtual work experiences connect young people with the world of work and open their minds to the possibility of a career in a sector they may not have considered.

Due to the pandemic, in-person work experience opportunities have slowed to a halt which prevents young people from exploring new career paths or connecting directly with employers. Since March 2020, Speakers for Schools has offered an engaging, virtual platform for young people to access eye-opening career experience.

In February half-term, The NHS Futures Team at The Royal Wolverhampton Trust ran a three-day programme for 34 young people to learn about pathology and hear from specialists in, microbiology, clinical chemistry and histopathology. Students took part in engaging sessions with experts in their field to find out what these fields are actually like. As experts in the study of cells and diseases, the students were also able to ask question about COVID-19 and debunk some of the myths around it.

The NHS Futures Team at The Royal Wolverhampton Trust’s mission is to provide local people, whatever their age or circumstance, the opportunity to discover and explore the multitude and diversity of roles within our organisation; inspiring them to choose a career within the NHS. The NHS Futures Team works with a wide range of educational establishments, businesses and charities in order to offer numerous opportunities to discover what working in the NHS is really like. The NHS Futures Team at The Royal Wolverhampton Trust have been awarded the Fair Train Gold Quality standard for Work Experience.

Malaika, 16, from West Midlands took part in the work experience with The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, said: “The best part of my work experience was learning about histopathology. What I learnt about myself is that I can work as a team. My top tip for other young people is to study hard so you can achieve your dreams.”

Dr Abbie Pugh, Consultant Cellular Pathologist said “It was great to see so many young people engaged. I was asked good questions that showed their interest in what we do. I was impressed with the level of focus and maturity demonstrated by the young people. It was really refreshing to see young people get excited and inspired by what we do every day.”

Sallie Johnson, NHS Futures Manager said that “We thought the pandemic would prevent us from offering the chance for young people to experience life in the NHS before they have to take the next steps in their career/educational journey.  But we have found that by partnering with companies like Speakers for Schools we can still offer these opportunities in new and innovative ways, potentially allowing us to reach even more young people both individually and whilst in the classroom.”

To find out more about work experience for your business or school, get in touch here: www.speakersforschools.org/experience-2/