|College targets men for courses in care|
|Written by The Somerset Guardian|
|Friday, 13 July 2012|
Norton Radstock College is challenging the stereotypes of men and women in engineering, construction and health and social care.
The college is aiming to raise the profile of health and social care among men.
Lorna Crouch, its marketing manager, said: "Initially we did a photo shoot which challenged people's views and enhanced the roles of men within these professions. This resulted in posters around the college, at open days and also taken to careers talks in local schools.
"We then decided to challenge the views of women in engineering and construction.
"We have researched, developed and consulted upon a Single Equality Scheme which demonstrates our commitment to equality and diversity for all individuals engaged in learning and working at the college."
Jim Hall, senior curriculum leader for health, social care and early years, said: "In nursing, according to the most recent Nursing and Midwifery Council figures, only one in ten nurses on the NMC register last year were male, a figure that has remained static for the past four years. Although there has been a rise in men entering the profession in the last few decades, it has been a small, slow one.
"While perceptions are beginning to change, some nurses believe that the profession is still seen as a feminine one.
"Only two per cent of staff working with the under fives are male, according to the former Children's Workforce Development Council.
"We need to build diversity throughout the Health, Care and Support Services to provide for the people assisted, cared for and patients' differing needs."
Reece Buck, 19, of Peasedown St John, is one of the students who took part and is studying a Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care.
He said: "I left school and did an art and design course, but decided it wasn't for me. I'm now a full-time Health and Social Care student, completing Level 2 last year and now on Level 3. My mum was a nurse in a care home and inspired me to do this.
"Men can do it as well, we're all equally capable. There are lots of jobs for men in health and social care, why should there be barriers? It's no different to women being bricklayers – why not?
"I enjoy understanding different circumstances and different people, what and why? I've got one more year to go and then I would like to do a psychology course before finding work in a care environment."
David Melling, 37, of Midsomer Norton, who is studying for a Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care Management, said: "As I have recently moved into management with my current employment I wanted to improve my knowledge and skills, improve my confidence and learn the right ways to manage.
"It doesn't matter who dominates the area as long as the work produced is professional, correct and the service users are happy with the support.
"I enjoy learning more about how health and social care works, how management and leadership differ, learning what style suits me and implementing what I've learnt in the real world."