School’s out … so we’ve trained to become workplace first aiders!

August 30th, 2018

Students at a school backed by many of Hull and East Yorkshire’s biggest businesses have given up part of their summer holidays to become qualified first aiders.

Almost 40 students from Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) sacrificed three days of their summer break to gain an industry-recognised first aid at work qualification, giving them a key advantage over other school leavers applying for jobs with leading local employers.

It means the students have a much-valued workplace qualification a year before many of them are due to join the world of work.

The opportunity to gain the qualification was made available on a voluntary basis because the employer-led school’s governing body felt first aid skills would be a major asset for both the students and prospective employers.

One of the Ron Dearing UTC’s Founding Partner employers, engineering business Spencer Group, led the initiative and hosted the training at the company’s headquarters on Hull Marina.

The sixth-form students earned a QA Level 3 Award in First Aid at Work, certifying that they know how to manage a range of injuries and illness that can occur at work and have the essential skills to give emergency first aid.

Trainer Allan Priestman gives tips on handling an asthmatic attack to students, from left, Ellie Colclough, Seth Whitehurst, Harry Cooper and Alistair Sceats, watched by Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley, left, and Yvonne Moir, from Spencer Group. Pictures: Neil Holmes Photography.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “This initiative came about because the employers on our governing board felt first aid was a key skill they need and having the qualification would enhance our students’ employability. It’s also a really valuable life skill.

“The option to do the training was entirely voluntary and the fact so many students gave up three full days of their summer holidays indicates their commitment.

“Gaining the first aid qualification really adds to their CVs. It also demonstrates they are ready and able to take responsibility if there is an incident at work, which illustrates their maturity and confidence.”

Yvonne Moir, Spencer Group Human Resources Director and a Ron Dearing UTC Governor, said: “The first aid qualification is something the governing body was very keen to support because, as employers, it’s a major advantage for candidates who apply to join us to have the industry-recognised, three-day first aid training under their belts. It’s a massive tick in the box for the students.

“We decided to do it during the school summer break so that, by next year, when they’re looking to apply for jobs and apprenticeships they already have the qualification.”

The training was delivered by Hull-based vocational training specialist Pathways Training and the qualification is valid for three years.

Trainer Allan Priestman said: “The students responded really well to the training and learned how to respond effectively to serious situations that can occur in the workplace.

“All the students are now qualified first-aiders and that gives them a tremendous advantage. It’s a bonus for employers to know they can bring these young people into their teams knowing that, in addition to doing their job, they can also help colleagues who suffer illness or injury at work.”

The initiative underlines Ron Dearing UTC’s commitment to producing students with a strong focus on health and safety at work. It follows a project led by Hull-based Arco, the UK’s leading safety company and a Ron Dearing UTC Major Partner, which involved all the Year 12 students learning about the critical importance of workplace health and safety.

Ron Dearing UTC’s unique curriculum combines academic excellence in the core subjects of English, maths and sciences with specialisms in digital technology and mechatronics – a combination of computing and engineering.  The school’s Founding Partners are the University of Hull, KCOM, RB, Siemens Gamesa, Smith & Nephew and Spencer Group. The UTC is also supported by many other leading local employers.

For more information on Ron Dearing UTC and how to apply to join the school click here.

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