A SUNDERLAND medical student has praised the city’s innovative employability programme in helping him make the right career choice.

Work Discovery Week has run since 2013, connecting young people with the region’s leading businesses to give them real insight into the world of work.

Among the thousands of students who have taken part in Work Discovery Week and the wider Work Discovery Sunderland programme is 19-year-old Nathan Beckett, who is now studying medicine at Newcastle University.

And the decision to go down the career path was as a result of the information he received at the opening day event of Work Discovery Week when he was 15.

Nathan, who attended Red House Academy, took part in the launch day, which includes the opportunity to talk to professionals at a careers fair held at the Stadium of Light.

And while he spoke to a range of employers, it was Gemma Taylor, workforce development and apprentice manager at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and her team who had a lasting impact on the teenager.

Inspired by the advice they gave him about pursuing a career in the sector, after completing his GCSEs Nathan went on to study A levels in biology, chemistry, physics and maths which helped him get his place at medical school.

“Work Discovery Week was a real insight for me and helped me make my career choice,” said Nathan.

“I had a vague idea of what I might like to do but when I spoke to Gemma and her team it absolutely convinced me that was the right path, which enabled me to make the right choices.

“I think Work Discovery Week is just as valuable in helping you decide what you don’t want to do as well as what you do.

“Being able to get all of the information from people working in a particular industry is amazingly helpful and it was fantastic to be able to take part.”

Gemma added that Work Discovery Week “gives us an excellent opportunity to engage with local students interested in careers within healthcare.

“Following Work Discovery Week, Nathan attended our Discover Medicine programme designed to give students a broader understanding of careers in medicine.

“We are delighted Nathan consequently secured a university place and wish him every success in his career.”

John Green, co-chair of Work Discovery Sunderland is delighted the scheme helped Nathan.

“The aim of the careers fair is to equip students with the knowledge and confidence to take the next steps towards their chosen career and success stories like Nathan’s are proof that it really does work,” said John.

“Work Discovery Week is a fantastic resource to give young people the answers to questions that they may fail to find elsewhere and open up new career ideas that they may not have previously considered.”

The Work Discovery Sunderland programme organises a range of activities throughout the year which more than 6000 students have benefited from since its launch.

The year culminates in Work Discovery Week, which this year takes place from 24 to 28 June and is supported by a range of organisations including MAKE It Sunderland, the University of Sunderland, Sunderland College, the Bridges, Gentoo, Leibherr Sunderland, Sunderland BID and many others.

Businesses wanting to get involved or who would like to find out about sponsorship opportunities or exhibiting at the careers fair should contact info@sortedpr.com

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