IT Students from City of Bristol College have gained vital workplace skills with NHS South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), as part of an innovative programme that aims to help young people into employment.
Designed and delivered by Working Knowledge, a social enterprise working in partnership with City of Bristol College, the programme enabled 40 IT students, aged 16-17, to spend one week tackling a real business case prepared by the CCG, which is the body responsible for planning and buying healthcare in South Gloucestershire.
The task set by the CCG asked the students to develop ideas for mobile device management software (MDMS) that would enable staff to access work emails and calendars on their personal phones and tablets, without compromising security.
Six teams of students were briefed on the project by Working Knowledge and spent a day researching the proposal before visiting the CCG offices in Warmley last month for feedback on their initial ideas and clarification on the requirements. The students spent the following day working up their business pitch, to include recommendations, timescales and costs in a team presentation.
Their business presentations were filmed and sent to Thomas Manning, the CCG’s head of information and performance, who has now assessed the whole process from the initial business meeting to the final pitch. He said:
“Given the tight timescales, the students were impressive. Not only did they produce relevant business proposals, they were extremely enthusiastic and genuinely involved. The project was based on a real business brief for which we already had a solution, so I was able to judge their performance against our own, and they did remarkably well.”
“The programme was well worth doing for our local young people. I learned a lot myself, and I know that several other departments at the CCG have expressed an interest in supporting similar activities in future.”
James Lott, Managing Director and co-founder of Working Knowledge was delighted by the success of the programme. He said:
“The students and tutors returned from their meeting with the CCG buzzing with excitement, saying how much they enjoyed and learned from Employer Experience programme.”
“Hands-on experience like this is invaluable; not least because the students can demonstrate at job interview examples of highly contextualised learning and commercial awareness. We’re keen to work with South Gloucestershire CCG in future.”