About Health and Science industry placements

Video transcript
Voiceover: T levels are one of the biggest reforms to England's technical education system in a generation. Launched in September 2020, each T-level includes a substantial industry placement, benefiting both the young person and the employer. Employers across England are gaining early access to new talent entering their sector. Whilst young people are gaining the skills, knowledge and attitude to excel in their careers.
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Sam Foster: Oxford University Hospitals Trust is an NHS organisation operating four hospital sites. We are a teaching trust with really strong links to our local universities. And we employ around 13,000 staff.
Claire Wardle: We got involved with industry placements because we already had existing links and relationships with the local college. We find these industry placements really support our recruitment needs. We want the right people with the right skills, so we have a variety of pathways that they can access.
Sam: The national profile of nursing vacancies sits at about 40,000 at the moment, so we're looking for all opportunities to encourage young people, the pipeline of young people, into a career into health.
Aliza Garewal: I'm 18 years old and I'm doing Health and Surgical level three at City of Oxford College. In the beginning of surgery, when I would come in at the start of my placement, I would sit back and watch just to get the idea of what it would be like. As the weeks progressed, I was slowly getting involved, so I'd help clean up, manual handling.
Claire: Getting the right student for the hospital was really key to us, so we worked closely with the college to look at a values-based recruitment process.
Sam: To make things meaningful, I think it's about developing really good practise environments where learners feel very welcome. Not having somebody filing medical notes, but rather saying "Today we are in clinic. "We are going to see five patients, "one of them is going to be particularly distressing, "but four of them I think you could accompany me "and I'm going to introduce you." And just working through how that could work for the patient and for the placement.
Aliza: The work I do on my placement isn't necessarily different from what they are doing. Only I don't really necessarily deal with medications and paperwork and everything. But I will ensure that my patients are safe, that they're okay and they're comfortable.
Peter Reynolds: The key to a successful industry placement is the Identification of a really great mentor for each student.
Delna Davis: Student is always following somebody. When they are on shift, they are not left alone. They have a buddy or a mentor or somebody to supervise their work, either in theatre direct admission or in recovery or if she's in theatres.
Aliza: In the beginning of the placement, I had generic induction as the same as everyone else. But when I came into theatres it was more specialised and if there was a certain situation going on, who will I report it to and how would I personally deal with that.
Sam: I think there are some particular issues and challenges in relation to health placements. Many young people will have seen lots of media and television about elements of health. So I think it's really important that we work with applicants to generate an understanding of what to expect.
It's just about meeting expectation, being very realistic about exposure and very carefully choosing the areas that we can expose young people to. For us, it's about getting in with a tangible opportunity for young people.
There is a programme of work that they can follow which includes a fairly significant industry placement that will give them an opportunity to be technically competent at a level that previously wasn't offered.
Claire: By the time they do come to employment, they should really be very familiar with the processes within the NHS and within health care and have already benefited from working with a variety of professionals. So you can see how the hospital works and have that wider perspective of the health care setting.
Peter: I think that through the industry placement, you can bring to life the qualification and the curriculum the students are learning in college.
Sam: My organisational plans for industrial placements in the future is really to be leading in this area and really to be doing this at scale. We're already very passionate about the apprenticeship opportunities that we offer. It's our opportunity to reach young people at an even earlier stage because a career in the NHS is broad.
Aliza: Ideally before I started my placement I wanted to go into paediatric nursing. But when I came to theatres, I do want to go into scrub nurse, so when I go to university I want to do nursing so I can do adults and paediatrics. Come here and do scrub nursing, so I have my options open.
Claire: This has been a really valuable experience for us. We find it fits very well with our wider workforce strategy. It fits very well with that career progression and pathways that we offer through apprenticeships and full time employment. We really see the benefits in working with those students very early on. We can really help shape and input into their careers into healthcare.
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Health and science working environments are incredibly diverse, with organisations of all sizes, and in all industries across England in rural and urban settings.

The Health and Science skill area will have 3 T Levels:



Starting September 2021

  • Adult nursing
  • Midwifery
  • Mental health
  • Care of children and young people
  • Therapy
  • Dental nursing (from September 2022)

To find out more about this T Level, download the:


Starting September 2021

  • Laboratory sciences
  • Food sciences
  • Metrology sciences

To find out more about this T Level, download the:

Healthcare Science

Starting September 2021

  • Assisting with healthcare science
  • Optical care services (from September 2022)

To find out more about this T Level, download the:


More about Health and Science industry placements

Read our articles for guidance and advice on:

Case studies

Find out what other organisations think about offering a Health and Science industry placement:

Ready to offer a Health and Science industry placement?

If you're interested in offering a Health and Science industry placement, contact us.

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