Nelson and Colne College students have become the first in the area to take part in a pioneering work experience pilot with the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.

Over the course of two weeks, a total of 20 students completed clinical or non-clinical placements working at the heart of the Trust and in its fast-paced environment.

Clinical placements included working in clinics, observing consultations with specialist nurses, and observation of investigations, such as weight and blood samples. Students also experienced life on three of Royal Blackburn Hospital’s general medical wards as well as more specialist areas such as the Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic and in Paediatrics.

Non-clinical work included Engineering through the maintenance and testing of medical equipment, Accounting tasks in the Finance department, Business Administration duties in Health Records, Customer Care and Business Administration in the hospital’s learning centre and Catering in the busy kitchens.

Health and Social Work Professions student Alisha Shamraiz, 17, worked in the main outpatient department. The former Pendle Vale College student said: “I found the work experience at ELHT really interesting and very useful. Nurses, healthcare assistants and other hospital staff made sure that we were learning at all times. It was a very inclusive environment and because there were a range of departments, I learnt a wide range of new things.”

Former Park High School student, Chloe Beagles, 17, who is also studying Health and Social Work Professions, was in the Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic. She said: “The placement was very interesting, seeing and learning new things. I was made to feel very welcome by staff who were really nice and supportive of my future aspirations. They also taught me about the different career pathways within the NHS.”

Engineering student Edgar Zelinskij, 18, carried out Electro Biomedical Engineering tasks on his placement. The former Fishermore RC High School student said: “Throughout the work experience placement, I was given a chance to work on and fix some of the equipment. The most positive experience is that both teams, Blackburn and Burnley, were excellent and caring. Because of the positive experience, I am currently looking for an Apprenticeship in Medical Engineering.”

Vocational Business student James Billington, 18, formerly of Ribblesdale High School, said: “The ELHT staff were really helpful and welcoming. Working in the Finance department for a week, I really learned a lot and gained a greater understanding of it. I will definitely be considering a career in Finance now.”

Nelson and Colne College is preparing for the introduction of T Levels in 2020 and a key component of the new qualifications is an extended work placement in industry. NCC already has a Career College ethos and is committed to providing its students with the best education possible ensuring they are fully prepared for their future careers.

This includes making the most of successful relationships with its extensive list of employer partners, such as the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, to provide high quality work experience opportunities, leading to Apprenticeships and employment after College.

Vice Principal Alison Rushton said: “Hearing the feedback from students and through talking to members of staff at the Trust, it is absolutely clear that this work experience pilot has been an outstanding success.

“The skills that students have learned during the clinical and non-clinical placements are invaluable and it has been a fantastic chance to introduce the Trust to our pipeline of talented, work-ready young people who are ambitious to support the future needs of the NHS.

“I would like to thank the Trust for its support of this initiative providing a huge range of opportunities. I look forward to continuing our excellent relationship and creating future work experience opportunities for our students.”

In its latest results, NCC achieved a 99.7% pass rate at A Level and a 100% pass rate in vocational courses. The college is top in the country for 16-18 learner achievement at all levels, number one in the country for A Levels, based on progress scores, and the number one college in the country for overall Apprenticeship achievement at all ages and levels.

Government data also places NCC as the best college in the area for vocational courses, based on progress scores, while it is also the best college in Lancashire for student satisfaction, according to the FE Choices Learner Satisfaction Survey.

For more information on Nelson and Colne College visit or contact the Admissions Team on 01282 440272.