Case Studies

Airedale Academy pilot leads to success for students

In October 2017, Wakefield General Practice Workforce Development Academy facilitated a pilot work experience scheme to widen access to health and social care careers for sixth form students at Airedale Academy in Castleford.


The pilot provided vocational work experience placements for seven Year 13 Health and Social Care BTEC students in a variety of health and social care roles.


The students each completed 100 hours of work experience with a number of different local health and social care providers working together as part of the Connecting Care programme.


The pilot was the first stage of a wider plan to offer vocational work experience placements, internships and apprenticeships in general practice to school and college students across the district.


Placements were personally tailored for every student according to their individual career goals and ambitions. Airedale students were placed in a variety of roles across Wakefield, including:

  • General practice nursing
  • Residential care with Wakefield Council
  • Dementia Support Services and childcare at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust
  • Elderly Care at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust
  • Mental health nursing at WDH
  • Fire and Rescue community services with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue.


Due to the success of the programme, some of the students have decided to extend their placements on a voluntary basis.


Liz Harrap, Head of Sixth Form at Airedale Academy, said: "We were delighted to be the first school involved in the initiative and to be able to offer such a wide range of opportunities to our students. The programme has opened so many doors for our students and has been a real confidence boost for them."


Currently the Academy is developing a model for continuation of the programme, which will continue to grow and develop from April 2018 onwards.