Partnership agreement signed to strengthen education and training opportunities

A ground-breaking new partnership has been formed to further strengthen educational and training opportunities in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

East Coast College, James Paget University Hospital and the University of Suffolk have signed a Partnership Agreement to cement their ongoing projects and create new opportunities to help local people access training and highly skilled jobs.

The unique partnership will see a wide range of opportunities from Level 2 job roles to local nursing degree study, including the immediate creation of 24 hospital placements for students studying the new T Level Health course at East Coast College from September. This will support students to meet the changing and emerging needs of the healthcare workforce and directly lead to places on nursing and clinical degrees.

Other opportunities will be developed for Level 2 Health pathway students to visit a range of areas within the hospital such as pharmaceuticals, screening departments, dieticians, and digital health, and for University of Suffolk foundation degree and honours degree students to complete six-week block placements on the children’s ward and oncology department.

The Partnership Agreement also signals the continuation of Project Search, a transition programme now in its 10th year which sees East Coast College students developing skills and experience working at the James Paget University Hospital, and the ongoing delivery of Level 3 Business Administrator Apprenticeships at the hospital.

Stuart Rimmer, CEO and Principal of East Coast College, said: “Creating this strategic partnership agreement is innovative and really focused on delivering change in our locality. This ground-breaking partnership will help local people access the high skilled jobs we need. Careers in health are rewarding. Together we will help reskill, retrain, upskill existing staff, and help support young people to start their career through the NHS. There has never been a better time to study health science and nursing.

“We will back this with stunning new facilities, exciting placements, accessing apprenticeship jobs and nursing degrees direct from college courses to make this the highest quality provision in the region bar none. It’s very exciting.”

Jo Segasby, Chief Executive of the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I am delighted that the James Paget has further strengthened its partnership with both East Coast College and the University of Suffolk to establish educational and training opportunities locally. As the Paget celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, this announcement cements our commitment to nurturing the skills and expertise of people, and to support local health and care services meet future needs.”

Paul Morris, Director of Nursing at the James Paget, added: “This is a fantastic opportunity to build on our relationships and expertise to develop a variety of further education, training, and apprenticeship schemes locally for people of all ages. By working together, we can develop a comprehensive training programme locally for clinical and nursing roles, as well as continue to support overseas nurses that come to live and work in our area.”

The University of Suffolk Vice-Chancellor, Professor Helen Langton, said: “With over 1400 students in health-related subject areas and a thriving portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, we are delighted to be working with East Coast College, James Paget University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and Great Yarmouth Borough Council to develop our health and nursing provision in Great Yarmouth. Establishing a new School of Nursing at the Great Yarmouth’s “university centre” and offering state of the art facilities and other courses in health such as biomedical sciences will undoubtedly help the development of the skilled workforce required for the regeneration and development of Great Yarmouth and beyond.”

Students studying Health courses at East Coast College already benefit from the established relationship with the Paget. Skye Bulbul, a Level 3 Health student, said her placement opportunity has been hugely beneficial to help identify future career possibilities within the health sector and has improved her professional communication skills working alongside employed staff.

And Hayden Brown, a Level 2 Health student who has been working alongside staff within the pain management team, said learning the techniques and medications used to help patients had been an amazing experience, and one which has led him to search for employment in a hospital environment while he continues with his studies.

Holly Chase, Assistant Principal for Health Studies at East Coast College, said: “Placement opportunities such as this can be life changing for our young adults and East Coast College is grateful to the hospital for its continued support. These placements prove to be an interactive platform in which students can make informed decisions in terms of identifying career pathways.

“As well as opportunities with this partnership, the college has also invested in its own purpose-built hospital ward and laboratory to provide fantastic training facilities for students starting a T Level qualification in Health at East Coast College.”

To find out more about the new Health and Healthcare Science T Levels starting this September, visit https://www.eastcoast.ac.uk/subject/t-levels

Mohammad Dastbaz, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of University of Suffolk, Stuart Rimmer, Chief Executive of East Coast College and Jo Segasby, Chief Executive of the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Photo East Coast College.