Careers in Care

As we continue our countdown to the new Kilmarnock Campus, this month we turn the curriculum spotlight on the Early Years and Health and Social Care department.

This year we will have 478 care students studying on the Kilmarnock Campus.

We caught up with Julie Maxwell, Director of Learning and Skills for Care, Education, Sports and Fitness,  to find out what the students can expect when they move into the campus on 24 October.



We are training people for jobs in the Early Years and Health and Social Care sectors. In this blog I am going to discuss some of the opportunities in these growth sectors for people with the right skills, knowledge and experience.


Early Years: Huge Growth Area

There is currently a demand for highly skilled and qualified workers in Early Years. This is because of the proposed change to increase the amount of free hours of childcare available to all 3-4 year olds and ‘vulnerable’ 2 year olds from 15 to 30 per week by 2020. Employers will need to recruit staff to meet the demand for this increase in childcare. Employers are looking for high quality staff and it’s our job to prepare people for these job opportunities. We have a great reputation for helping employers recruit skilled staff capable of delivering high quality childcare.

The new campus will provide an inspirational learning environment. We have a simulated nursery where students can enhance their practical skills. We have the latest early years resources so that our students are able to learn how to create a safe, positive and fun learning environment for children 0-5 years.

We have developed strong links with partners in Ayrshire who provide work placements for our students in local authority and private nurseries so that our students learn to work with children in a real learning environment.

We have also got great links with UWS for our HND Childhood Practice students to progress into 3rd year of the BA Childhood Studies course. Students will also use this route to prepare for a career in Primary teaching.


Health and Social Care

The Scottish Government 2020 Vision is that by 2020,  everyone is able to live longer healthier lives at home, or in a homely setting and, that we will have a healthcare system where:

  • We have integrated health and social care
  • There is a focus on prevention, anticipation and supported self-management
  • Hospital treatment is required, and cannot be provided in a community setting, day care treatment will be the norm
  • Whatever the setting, care will be provided to the highest standards of quality and safety, with the person at the centre of all decisions
  • There will be a focus on ensuring that people get back into their home or community environment as soon as appropriate, with minimal risk of re-admission


What does this mean for our students studying health and social care? It has opened up more job opportunities which are related to improving the health of the nation. In some cases,  there is an increase in the entry qualifications to certain job roles such as residential care workers.

There are lots of occupations which are predicting shortages of health and social care staff including healthcare support assistants, nurses, midwives, ambulance technicians, paramedics and care at home support workers. We are supporting employers by developing a range of courses which will help them fill the skills gaps.

Our courses have guaranteed placements in hospitals and care homes which means our students get relevant experience and can find out what to expect in that job before they apply for a full-time post.

The HNC Care and Administration (Clinical route) offers a wide range of clinical placements in areas such as midwifery, paediatrics, adult and mental health nursing. Successful students can apply for nursing degree programmes at a wide range of universities including UWS and Glasgow Caledonian University.

One area of nursing which is seeing a huge growth is learning disability nursing. This is a specialist nurse who helps to improve the well-being and social inclusion of people with a learning disability. They also offer help and support to their family and carers.

More information here:

In the new campus at Kilmarnock we have created a simulated hospital ward which has 4 beds, a mobile hoist and state of the art mannequins. It is here our students will learn practical clinical skills and moving and handling techniques in preparation for placement on a hospital ward.

We also have a health pod in the Health and Wellbeing Centre. Here our students will be able to monitor blood pressure, weight, height, BMI and from a computer generated report, work out training and nutrition advice. We will be working closely with our sports and fitness students to provide this service to staff, students and the wider public.


Staff are our greatest resource

As well as the new learning environment, our students will experience quality teaching and learning from our team of highly experienced lecturers. Our staff are our greatest resource and we continually invest in training and development so that we have the latest knowledge and good practice to share with our students. We also arrange guest speakers who are specialists in their area.

Career fairs

In the new campus we have a fantastic atrium space where we will be holding a series of careers fairs bringing together all the organisations who have job opportunities for our students.

Read our top ten reasons why you should study for a career in care.




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