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West Bromwich Health Futures University Technical College to give 14-year-olds chance to train for NHS career
The students split their time between studying for core GCSE subjects at 14 - English, maths and the triple sciences - plus a compulsory GCSE in health and social care..
In addition, they undertake a series of Technical Challenge Projects - such as simulating working as a nurse or doctor on a hospital ward where they tend for robot patients who exhibit life-like symptoms such as having a pulse and opening and shutting their eyes.. They can also role play ambulance staff bringing an injured patient into a hospital on a stretcher.
The students fit it all in by working a longer school day from 8.30am to 5pm - which staff at the UTC say is an ideal preparation for them entering the world of work. The college uniform of smart clothes (suits for boys) is designed to fit in with what would be expected of them in the workplace.
The training, say UTC bosses, will stand the students in good stead in applying for a range of health service jobs - including radiologists, dental nursing, theatre support staff or school nurse. Many of the new intake hope to become doctors - taking A-levels and then continuing to university. Others will follow the path of high level apprenticeship to train for a technical post within the service.