A former Supported Learning student from New College Lanarkshire has gained permanent employment thanks to experience he gained throughout a college employability programme in partnership with NHS Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire Council and Serco.
Steven Bryce from Cambusnethan has achieved a permanent part-time post in the Endoscopy Contamination Unit in University Hospital Wishaw – after impressing staff with his work ethic throughout a voluntary role.
The 24-year-old started at the College’s Motherwell Campus in 2014 on the NQ Horizon programme, which aims to give students with additional support needs life skills and develop their confidence for the future.
Upon completion of his qualification, he joined Project SEARCH, a joint partnership to help young people with autism and learning disabilities gain employment.
As part of the project, Steven took on a work placement in the Endoscopy Decontamination Unit (EDU) at University Hospital Wishaw from 2016-17.
Charge Nurse Lynne Linden said: “Steven worked really hard in his placement and fitted in brilliant with the team. However he was unable to apply for any of the available jobs as he did not meet the criteria for a Band 2 post.
“Instead, Steven decided to volunteer in order to keep developing his skills and fortunately the EDU were able to accommodate this.
“His duties included portering reprocessed and contaminated endoscopes to various areas within the hospital and he proved to be an invaluable asset to the EDU and the Day Surgery Unit.
“During the year he spent volunteering, the decontamination team were able to concentrate on improving productivity and flow.
“The unit were then in a position to explore the possibility of creating a Band 1 position, giving Steven the chance to apply for the post."
Karen McLelland, Senior Charge Nurse at University Hospital Wishaw said: “Promoting equality and equity are at the heart of NHS Lanarkshire – ensuring that the organisation exercises fairness in all that it does and investing in a diverse NHS workforce enables us to deliver a more inclusive service and improve patient care.
“The EDU at University Wishaw Hospital has a long-standing relationship with Project SEARCH, supporting and promoting this initiative which improves confidence and social skills.
“The Unit has welcomed students for four years with most of them gaining meaningful employment.”
During his volunteering with the Hospital, Steven was nominated and shortlisted for the NHS Lanarkshire Staff Awards in the Outstanding Volunteer category, recognising his dedication and his contribution to NHS Lanarkshire.
Katie Murphy, Project Search Lecturer at New College Lanarkshire said: “We are absolutely thrilled for Steven achieving this permanent role, providing him with a regular income, access to the pension scheme, independence and a sense of worth and achievement.
“During his time at college he was an exemplary student and his achievements show what hard work, commitment and support can do.”
New College Lanarkshire offers a number of programmes aiming to get young people in Lanarkshire and beyond into employment.
For more information, visit www.nclanarkshire.ac.uk.