A breath of optimism: a visit from the CUH Work Opportunities Team

By Sonia Trickey, Assistant Headteacher at Pilgrim Pathways School

Students at The Phoenix and Darwin Learning Centres were visited by the Work Opportunities Team from Cambridge University Hospitals this week.

When a young person has missed significant amounts of education due to on-going illness, thinking about the future can be anxiety inducing, triggering feelings of lost opportunities and grief around the future they had taken for granted before their hospital admission.

Some previously high-attaining students will be struggling to meet the threshold for passes at their GCSEs or A-level and previously held expectations around university might feel beyond their reach. The CUH Work Opportunities Team were a breath of optimism and pragmatism as they talked students through the plethora of apprenticeship opportunities at CUH and their enlightened and flexible approach to supporting young people find their way to a meaningful career.

CUH offers a wide range of apprenticeships from Level 2 all the way through to Master’s degree level. Even if young people haven’t achieved passes in English and maths GCSE, they can access a Level 2 apprenticeship and be supported to resit the GCSE or to access the far for straightforward Functional Skills qualification. From there, they can work their way up the career ladder gaining further qualifications until they reach a level that feels comfortable for them.

There are a wide range of roles on offer: from radiography to physiotherapy to nursing qualifications. But it’s not all medical roles: students can access qualifications in science and research, accountancy, digital marketing and lab technicians to mention just few.

What is more, the HR department is committed to helping young people find the pathway that is right for them. Should someone realise that an apprenticeship is not the right route for them, CUH will support them to find a more suitable role. If they are struggling with the demands of a fulltime role or with studying while working, CUH can offer an adapted package. This is especially reassuring for neurodivergent young people or for those managing mental illness. CUH is pioneering an enlightened approach to supporting this particular cohort into successful employment.

And the good news doesn’t end there: anyone can access an apprenticeship! Maybe there’s still time for my career in radiography, after all!


  Published on 12 July 2023 By Sonia Trickey