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Bradford College Pioneers Virtual NHS Work Experience

80 Fast Track to T Level Health students took part in a new virtual ‘Aspiring Allies’ project which is being piloted at Bradford College, to learn more about the allied health professions that support patients in the NHS.


Unlike traditional career schemes that focus on the roles of doctors and nurses, Aspiring Allies explores the 14 allied health profession careers available in the NHS, including osteopaths, physiotherapists, dieticians, occupational therapists, and speech and language therapists.

The online initiative is designed to help the Trust accommodate the demand for student work experience opportunities. Students take part in a six module supported programme to learn the practical skills needed to progress into one of the allied health professions.

Vicky Carter, Head of School at Bradford College, sits on the Health and Social Care Board of Bradford District’s Careers and Technical Education (CTE) board, which brings together health professionals from across the region and helps the College to embed NHS events and initiatives in its curriculum.

80 Fast Track to T Level Health students lined up on a staircase after completing work experience in the nhs

Vicky said:
“We’re really excited about Aspiring Allies.  It’s a solution to a real problem faced by the NHS, to give more and more young people, real work experience in a stretched NHS.  The modules that our students complete count towards their work experience when applying to a Higher Education Institution for their career qualifications”.

The six module programme takes approximately eight hours to complete, including two hour-long live sessions with 14 real allied health professionals and six hours of virtual self-directed work which explore all aspects of working as an allied health professional.

The final panel of the first pilot, took place on Thursday 21 June in the David Hockney Building.  It was  a fantastic opportunity for the students to ask as many questions as possible about these crucial but sometimes overlooked roles in the NHS.

During Module 5 students were asked to create a job advert for their favourite Allied Health Profession. These were uploaded to [email protected] a week before and judged by the panel. The winner received a £25 Waterstone voucher. The winner was Taylor Bell with 4 others receiving a well-deserved mention.

Owing to the success of the pilot, the Aspiring Allies programme will now be embedded in the programme of study for all Level 3 Health & Social Care Award students. The aspiration is that this will be an access point in to the Bradford College T Level in Health and T Level in Healthcare Science, and higher education and university programmes.

Further programmes have now been written specialising in Physio and occupational therapy. We are hoping to be part of these from September 2024. These will lead to real-life work experience.

On the 5th July join us as we celebrate 75 years of the National Health Service as we light up the College blue to showcase the vital qualifications and support we deliver each day to help fill critical roles in the NHS.

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