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Our Health & Care Academy

Coronavirus Update

Due to the increased pressure on the system from COVID we have taken the decision to temporarily suspend all physical work experience placement activity until further notice. In order to support students during this difficult time, we do have however a range of online activities available below, from e-placements to ‘Let’s Talk About’ sessions with Ambassadors. All services will be made available via the Work Experience page on our website:

Work Experience

Are you a school leaver, interested in exploring career opportunities within health and social care? Perhaps you’re not sure what you want to do long term yet but are keen to gain some skills and experience for the future.

Work Experience placements are great way to do just that – and there are lots of different settings within the healthcare sector where you can learn useful skills, explore different roles and find out what you’re interested in for your future career.

You can read about Work Experience Programmes within Suffolk and North East Essex below – or find out more about roles in health and social care (including job descriptions and entry requirements) on our Careers pages.

Senior Health & Care Academy Programme

Are you interested in a future in health and care? Would you like to gain an insight into working in a hospital or care setting?

The Senior Academy Programmes offers 16-18-year-olds an opportunity to learn about the NHS and social care and the vast array of roles within the sector and routes in. Participants have an opportunity to meet a range of health and care professionals ask them questions and gain insight and understanding of the work they do.

These interactive programmes are aimed at students who live in Suffolk and North East Essex and will increase your knowledge and understanding of routes into health and care careers as well as supporting with CV writing, experience in completing application forms, personal communication skills and interview skills where needed. They also include information on basic life support and infection control.

The programmes are delivered virtually via MS Teams and have a range of programmes varying in length from shorter holiday clubs to sessions incorporated into the school day. The sessions have a flexible approach and are 4-6 months in duration.

You will have a chance to meet a range of health professionals, ask them questions and gain insight and understanding of the work they do.

This is an amazing chance for you to get inspired and find out how you can become a part of the wider health and care team and enjoy a fantastic and fulfilling career.

How do I apply for the programme?

When applications are open you will need to register (or login if you already have an account) for an account with the NHS Talent Academy and apply online. If you are under 18 you will be asked for your parent/carers consent to register.

Once you have created your account and applied for the Senior Academy you will then receive confirmation of whether your application has been successful. If you have not been successful on this occasion you will be offered feedback to support future applications and advised of alternative opportunities which might be of interest.

Alternatively, if you’re a teacher and require further information, please click to find out more about the Next Generation project in Suffolk and North East Essex.

Virtual Work Experience Opportunities

Next Generation ‘Let’s Talk About’ Sessions
The aim of these virtual work experience sessions is to provide you with an insight into a role, whilst highlighting the key skills needed within this area as well as some of the rewards and challenges faced.

These experiences will provide you with the opportunity to:

  • Gain an insight into a particular role within the health and care sector
  • Have an informal conversation and discussion, lasting up to an hour, with the opportunity to ask your specific questions.  Content will be delivered via Microsoft Teams with a professional from this field
  • Highlight entry routes, qualification timelines and different career opportunities available
  • Gain an overview of the patient pathway and day to day routine or tasks for this particular role
  • Identify the most important skills and qualities that health and care professionals should possess and be developing throughout their career
  • Assess yourself and see if you have the skills and qualities for a care in health or care
  • By taking part in this experience hopefully you will be able to make a decision as to whether following this career path is the right route for you

How to Access ‘Let’s Talk About’ Sessions
The e-placements are free to access but you will need to register for a free account with the NHS Talent Academy. To register for an account, you will need to be over 14 years of age and will need consent from a parent or carer if you are under 18 as part of the registration process.


These opportunities are online modules which will provide you with an insight into specific health and care roles through a series of videos, tutorials, quizzes and virtual tours. It will help you to develop a greater understanding of the knowledge, skills and behaviours required which will help you make that informed choice about your future career direction.

E-Placements Available (more to follow shortly):
Nursing – an introduction
Occupational Therapy – an introduction
Physiotherapy – an introduction

How to Access the E-Placements
The e-placements are free to access but you will need to register for a free account with the NHS Talent Academy. To register for an account, you will need to be over 14 years of age and will need consent from a parent or carer if you are under 18 as part of the registration process. You only need to register once but you will need to click on apply for each e-placement you wish to complete. Once you have applied a link to the e-placement will be sent to you to complete.

Employment Support and Mentoring

The Suffolk and North East Essex ICS, supported by The Prince’s Trust, is looking to assist those starting out in the world of work, into a career in health and care. Our Pre-employment Co-ordinator can support you to navigate the jobs and apprenticeships available, help you decide which career pathway is right for you and offer mentor support to aid you with application and interview preparation to help you secure a positive outcome.

Mentoring is the provision of personal support, assistance, encouragement and inspiration to people, particularly at a time of transition and usually over a sustained period of time. Some of the benefits of having a mentor can include:

  • Identifying and achieving career and personal goals
  • Identifying the key personal skills and strengths you have, and how you can use and build upon these
  • Increasing confidence
  • Developing a broader perspective on career options and opportunities
  • Encouraging you to be the best version of yourself

By participating in the Health & Care Academy programme you will have exclusive, optional access to a professional mentor from an ICS organisation or relevant System partner for at least 6 months. All mentors will have been trained by the Prince’s Trust and will be familiar with the particular challenges of and opportunities throughout Suffolk & North East Essex.

For more information on the employment and mentor support available, please contact our Pre-Employment Co-ordinator

Sector-Based Work Academy (SWAPs)

Sector-based work academy programme (SWAPs) is an opportunity to learn new skills and get experience of working in a particular industry, for example care, construction or warehouse work.

The programme is designed to help jobseekers, who are claiming either Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), to build confidence, improve job prospects and enhance CVs.

SWAPs last up to six weeks, and consist of three parts:

  • Pre-employment training – a short module of vocational training run by a local college or training provider,
  • Work experience with an employer in the industry, where you can learn new skills on the job,
  • At the end of the programme, either a job interview with an employer in the sector or if an interview cannot be offered, help with the application process.

Participants will continue to receive benefits whilst taking part in a SWAP, and if you need to travel to the employer’s place of work or to where the training is held, you may be able to receive help covering the cost of public transport or appropriate childcare.

The programme is designed to help improve job prospects, help employers fill jobs, as each SWAP is linked to one or more genuine job vacancy. While you’re not guaranteed to get a job from completing a SWAP, it does help you to improve your chances of gaining employment in that sector. You can find out more information, including eligibility and requirements on the website.

You Can’ Programme

The free ‘You Can’ programme is for Tendring residents aged 16+ who would like to have an insight into working in the Health & Care sectors. The programme comprises of 6 virtual sessions, with each session taking approximately 2 hours to complete, and the whole programme is delivered over three weeks by Adult Community Learning (ACL).

This programme is the first step in accessing information about working in the Health & Care sectors. There are no exams or tests to take, it is purely informative and supportive of anyone who wants to improve their employability chances and to better understand the wide variety of roles available and the associated entry routes into these careers. Once the 5 modules are completed, ACL will provide a personalised one to one session to support the participant in deciding what their next steps will be, whether that be further training and development, apprenticeships, work experience or employment.

To sign up for the ‘You Can’ programme please visit or alternatively why not attend one of our free ‘You Can’ Career Webinars

For more information about any of our Health & Care Academy Programmes, please contact or alternatively to book a place on future sessions, visit the
NHS Talent Academy website.