Exeter College launch NHS Hidden Careers Day  

Exeter College has taken the lead in supporting the NHS in providing a future workforce. The College were delighted to host the first ‘NHS Hidden Careers Day’ on Friday 25th March 2022, organised in partnership with the NHS.  

The second in a series of ‘Hidden Career’ days to be held at Exeter College, this event was designed to support student progression into employment whilst highlighting the critical roles within the NHS that can be overlooked.  

It followed the success of ‘Rail Day’ held in November 2021 which shined a spotlight on “hidden” roles within the rail industry, organised in partnership with Great Western Railway.   

A diverse and ambitious programme of events saw guests from NHS Improvement, Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Trust and the South Western Ambulance Service delivering meaningful workshops to Exeter College students about a variety of career pathways in the NHS, including Engineering, Catering & Nutrition, Therapy & Cardiac Services, IT and Business.   

Phillip Shelley, Chair of the NHS Food Review, attended the day, delivering an engaging talk to Sport & Fitness and Hospitality students on the importance of food within healthcare and the link between food and recovery.  

“Having the ability to share the opportunities and challenges of nutrition and hydration within healthcare is vital if we are to raise awareness within our regions and across the country. Strengthening our links with our young people helps to identify topics, career prospects and development within the NHS.  

Hospitals aim to be a beacon within their community, whether this is for patient care, workforce or skill enhancement – I hope that the Exeter College students identified a glimpse of passion from us today, which could draw them into a significant health service career.”  

Phillip Shelley   

Phillip Shelley and John Laramy

In addition, Exeter College students were delighted to receive inspiring words from Great British Bake Off’s Prue Leith about the benefits of pursuing a catering career in the NHS.   

In total, over 500 students participated in the event across 4 Exeter College locations. Sessions not only identified routes into the NHS and showcased the training and progression opportunities available, but also gave students the opportunity to speak directly to NHS professionals.   

This event is a strong example of how Exeter College strives to deliver excellent career guidance through regular engagement with employers. The combined partnership between Exeter College and local NHS Trusts has seen exceptional success, with over 400 Apprentices enrolled and 98% of the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Trust learners undertaking the CMI Team Lead Apprenticeship achieving a distinction. This partnership has enabled people across the South West to enter the sector, develop in their current role and progress onto meaningful careers within Health.  

“Employer partnerships are incredibly important to the College and the NHS is not only a great partner, but a key part of the Exeter eco-system, which touches all of our lives in some way.  This event has been a real success with students leaving better equipped and  more informed about their next steps and the variety of  careers, opportunities and choices within the NHS. This is just the start of what we hope will be a regular event.  

I would like to thank all of the NHS staff involved for giving up their valuable time to educate and inspire those who could become the next generation of NHS professionals”  

John Laramy  

SWAST, RDUH & NHS Improvement Guests

After the success of this event, the Exeter College ‘Hidden Careers’ series is set to continue, with a local authority careers day next on the agenda.   If you would like to find out more about careers in the NHS or ‘Hidden Careers’ events, please email apprentices@exe-coll.ac.uk.