Work experience for psychology students

Ella Rhodes reports.

In a bid to increase access to work experience for psychology students Outcomes First Group has offered placements for people interested in working with children with learning disabilities and complex needs. Dr Robina Shah, Director of Clinical and Wellbeing at the organisation, said placements and work experience would be available to pre-university, undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Outcomes First Group (OFG) runs residential care homes, schools, and regional fostering agencies in the four nations of the UK. Shah, also Director of Manchester University’s Doubleday Centre for Patient Experience, said she hoped to tackle some of the competitiveness over finding work experience in psychology and related disciplines – including speech and language therapy and occupational therapy.

‘Often psychology students don’t consider the independent sector for work experience or placements and turn to the NHS or voluntary sector instead. We’d like to open a gateway for people to have up to a month of supervised work experience with OFG.’

Shah has experience of linking up young people with career opportunities through her work as Chief Ambassador of the Meet Your Future scheme started by Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham. She said she would like to see work experience opened up to more people from different backgrounds, and for schemes to be better coordinated through organisations such as the British Psychological Society.

'Due to the Covid-19 restrictions placements will hopefully be available from the start of the new academic year,' Shah said, 'firstly in the children’s and young peoples service directorate. Expressions of interest can be placed on the OFG Website under "Join our Family". Updates about our progress and the work experience offer will be posted on the website, so please do visit regularly to ensure you don't miss out.'

Placements will be organised from the Autumn, but Shah said in the meantime she hoped to run events for students interested in the field to have a chance to attend virtual talks from psychologists and speech and language therapists about their work.

If you would be interested in arranging a work experience placement with OFG see www.outcomesfirstgroup.co.uk

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