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Last week my colleagues and I had the pleasure of visiting East Surrey College to advocate how broad the Care sector is and the vast employment opportunities within it. We spoke to a mixed group of students currently undertaking their studies in Medical and Forensic Sciences; at the point of deciding their next career steps. Upon our arrival we were nervous and uncertain about what reception we would receive as outside bodies conducting discussions surrounding employment and the benefits of seeking work experience on a Monday morning to a group of teens. However, Ali’s light-hearted introduction to the session brought some smiles and immediately energetically engaged the groups before the rest of us began to share our varied experiences of how we got to our current roles at SCA.

Eugene communicated his journey of beginning his career through working for restaurants and various retailers part time and pro-actively creating a blog, which enhanced his IT skills whilst studying during college and university; an essential skill in his current Marketing role with Surrey Care Association. I reiterated Ali’s initial introduction, covering what the students’ potential employers would be keen to see in the numerous CVs and job profiles they receive upon invitations for interviews; covering the importance of both paid and unpaid experience as I worked part time in retail as well as volunteering in my local university community during my studies. I explained to the students how my experiences highlighted initiative as I had searched for them myself, environmental awareness as they involved adapting myself to different work settings and enabled me to gain communication skills; favoured in the future employment the students shall seek after their studies. Kim followed on, discussing her various jobs before SCA, which broadly ranged from working at a theme park, being a beautician and real estate to her current administrative roles as Membership Officer and Business Admin. Coming from a background of such wide-ranging roles, Kim emphasised that no matter what roles the students undertake in their next steps, the skills and experience they will gain from those experiences will be utilised into the roles they will endeavour in the future.

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Above: (From the left) Myself, Eugene and Kim at East Surrey College in Redhill.

The East Surrey college students were left with positive reassurance that although at the stage of their career full time work may appear daunting, by adapting their ‘fun’ passions such as blog writing, which enable them to learn qualities this will create more employment opportunities in the future. I firmly believe they gained a great deal from listening to all of us from different backgrounds and career paths, particularly working in the care sector in varied roles which are all connected. Similarly, we partook in an exciting presentation; different to our normal day to day office duties which contributed further to our experience of presentations and public speaking, which was incredibly beneficial.

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