Primary care graduate mental health worker Wk. 6, October

As today is World Mental Health Day (10 October), I thought this week we would look at careers in mental health nursing and support.

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Psychological wellbeing practitioner

Primary care graduate mental health workers give treatment and support to people with mental health problems.

Average salary (a year)

£24,214 Starter to £43,772 Experienced

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How to become a primary care graduate mental health worker

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • applying directly

University

You could do a degree in psychology or health and social care, and then apply for a place on a postgraduate training course.

After your degree, you’ll be employed in the health service and complete Improving Access to Psychological Therapy training, approved by the British Psychological Society.

This 12-month course is made up of 1 day of academic study and 4 days of supervised practice each week.

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Entry requirements

  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More information

Volunteering and experience

You’ll usually need paid or voluntary experience of working with people who have mental health issues or people with disabilities. You can contact the voluntary services co-ordinator or manager at your local NHS trust about work experience opportunities.

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Direct application

You can apply directly if you’ve got relevant skills and knowledge. Employers will look for:

  • qualifications in nursing, social work, occupational therapy, arts therapy or other psychological therapy
  • experience and training in cognitive behavioural therapy

You’ll complete an Improving Access to Psychological Therapy training course while you work.

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More information

Career tips

Experience of working with people with mental health problems will be helpful.

Further information

You can find out more about working in primary mental health care from Health Careers.

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • knowledge of psychology
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • customer service skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

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Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • designing and running group therapy sessions
  • promoting good mental health in the community
  • signposting people to relevant services
  • keeping accurate and up-to-date patient care records
  • supporting and training other healthcare professionals
  • developing and setting up new mental health support services

Working environment

You could work at a health centre, at a client’s home or at a GP practice.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

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Career path and progression

With experience, you could train as a high intensity therapist, working with people with complex mental health needs.

You could also lead a team or develop new mental health services.

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Rail engineering technician Wk 5, Oct

Rolling stock engineer

Rail engineering technicians install and service mechanical and electrical systems on trains.

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In case you weren’t aware, it’s National Rail Week 7-13 October 2019! There are currently lots of rail-related items in the news: HS2, the Northern Powerhouse links from Manchester to Leeds and so on … so this seems like the perfect time to look at careers in this industry.

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Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter to £35,000 Experienced

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How to become a rail engineering technician

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

College

You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant courses include:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Rail Engineering Operative Competence
  • Level 3 Diploma in Rail Engineering Technician

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

More information

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Apprenticeship

You can get into this job through an advanced apprenticeship as a rail engineering technician. You can do apprenticeships with Network Rail or Transport for London.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), usually including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information

Work

You could start out in a rail track maintenance worker. With experience and further training, you could then apply for a technician role.

Direct application

To apply directly for rail technician jobs you would normally need experience and qualifications as a mechanical fitter, electrician or craftsperson with a rail engineering company, or from elsewhere in engineering. For example, a background as a coach builder or construction plant technician may be helpful.

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More information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a rail engineering technician from Network Rail and Transport for London.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • knowledge of transport methods, costs and benefits
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • the ability to work well with others
  • concentration skills
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • observation and recording skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

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Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

  • pass a medical check
  • have good eyesight and be physically fit, as you’ll have to pass a medical before you can start training

You may have to take an aptitude test to assess your existing skills and knowledge.

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • helping to build new engines and carriages
  • fitting out carriages with lighting, upholstery, control panels and communication systems
  • inspecting bodywork, roofs and undercarriages for wear and tear or damage
  • repairing or replacing parts
  • carrying out regular checks on brakes and couplings
  • taking apart, testing and reassembling mechanical, electrical and pneumatic systems
  • writing reports and updating maintenance records

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Working environment

You could work on rail tracks or in a workshop.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time and dirty.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

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Career path and progression

You’ll take work-based qualifications in personal track safety, installation, testing and maintenance.

You may work for train operating companies, London Underground, light rail and metro companies, rail freight and leasing firms. Specialist rail engineering maintenance companies are also big employers.

With experience, you could become maintenance team leader or engineering workshop manager.

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Crown prosecutor, Wk. 4 September

Following the twists and turns with Parliament recently, I thought we’d look at a legal career this week!

Reviewing lawyer

Crown prosecutors make sure that decisions to bring people to court are fair and likely to succeed.

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Average salary (a year)

£32,000 Starter to £115,000 Experienced

How to become a crown prosecutor

You can get into this job through:

  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

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Work

You must be a qualified solicitor or barrister in order to get into this career. You can train for these roles through the Crown Prosecution Service Legal Trainee Scheme. You’ll need at least a lower second class degree for this.

Direct application

You can apply for this job if you’ve trained as a solicitor or barrister and have completed your Legal Practice Course or Bar Professional Training Course and a 2-year training contract or a 12-month pupillage.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about being a crown prosecutor from the Crown Prosecution Service.

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • knowledge of English language
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • active listening skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to read English
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could be:

  • checking facts and documents for each case
  • advising which charges are suitable
  • explaining decisions to defence lawyers, witnesses, the police and other agencies
  • deciding if there’s enough evidence to convict, and if it’s reliable and can be used in court
  • preparing the case for the prosecution
  • making sure relevant evidence is put before the court
  • presenting the case to a panel of magistrates or judges, or to a judge and jury, depending on the court
  • questioning the defendant and witnesses
  • summing up the case for the prosecution

You’ll also be:

  • training other prosecutors and caseworkers
  • representing the CPS at casework conferences

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Working environment

You could work in an office or in a court.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

With experience and further training you could progress to senior crown prosecutor.

From there you could become crown advocate, senior crown advocate and principal crown advocate.

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Climate scientist – Wk.3, September

Another science based career this week – one that is particularly relevant as it is Climate Strike day (20 Sept) and a number of pupils from Parklands are staging a peaceful protest in Chorley town centre to urge world leaders to take action on climate change. This is a career that can only grow as solutions need to be found – and quickly!

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Climatologist

Climate scientists study the influences on the Earth’s climate over time and how these might affect it in the future.

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How to become a climate scientist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course

University

You can do a degree or postgraduate qualification in:

  • environmental science
  • geography
  • physics
  • maths and statistics
  • oceanography
  • meteorology and climate science
  • computer science

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Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 3 A levels including maths and a science subject
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More information

Volunteering and experience

You could get work experience through an internship or work placement. This would give you an insight into the different types of work you can do as a climate scientist.

More information

Career tips

You can get information about global climate conditions through NASAand the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Further information

You can discover more about working in climate science from the Royal Meteorological Society and the Natural Environment Research Council.

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of geography
  • knowledge of physics
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • science skills
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • gathering and analysing data from the atmosphere, oceans and land
  • creating computer models to simulate the effects of changes to climate
  • designing and building scientific instruments and sensors
  • studying past climates to understand what might happen in the future
  • monitoring ice packs, sea levels and temperatures
  • looking at how global climate affects regional weather patterns
  • attending conferences and publishing research findings
  • investigating ways to tackle climate change
  • advising policy makers
  • teaching

Working environment

You could work in a laboratory or at a university.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.

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Career path and progression

You could specialise in an area of climate science, for example polar research, rainfall patterns or ocean changes. You might do this through research and teaching at a university, or by working for a government department.

You could also work as a palaeoclimatologist, studying previous variations in climate and how the Earth adapted to these.

Other career options include working as a consultant for science publishers or broadcasters.

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Biochemist Wk. 2 September

This week’s CotW is aimed at those who think that a science degree just allows you to teach science! There are hundreds of different routes you can take if you enjoy science subjects – and this is just one of them.

Click the links for much more information.

Biological scientist

Biochemists investigate the chemical processes that take place inside all living things, from viruses and bacteria to people.

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How to become a biochemist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • working towards this role
  • specialist training with the NHS

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University

You’ll usually need a science degree. For jobs in industry or research, you may also need a postgraduate qualification like a master’s degree or PhD.

Relevant degree subjects include:

  • biochemistry
  • biotechnology
  • biopharmaceuticals
  • chemical and molecular biology
  • microbiology genetics
  • molecular biology

During your degree course, you may be able to get experience of working in a laboratory through a Summer Vacation Studentship.

Some universities also offer a science foundation year as part of a degree if you have not studied science subjects to the level needed.

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Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English, maths and a science
  • 3 A levels with good grades, including chemistry and biology
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More information

Work

You could work as a laboratory technician and study on the job for a degree to qualify.

Other routes

In the NHS, you can train by following the NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP).

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More information

Career tips

Integrated master’s qualifications like MBiolSci, MBiochem or MSci can be studied at university. These courses combine more independent research and are designed to lead directly onto further postgraduate study like a PhD.

Professional and industry bodies

Membership of a professional body like the Biochemical Society or the Royal Society of Biology may be useful to reinforce your status as a professional scientist and to help keep your knowledge current.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a biochemist from:

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Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of biology
  • knowledge of chemistry including the safe use and disposal of chemicals
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • science skills
  • knowledge of physics
  • concentration skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your tasks will vary by industry

In the pharmaceutical, food or brewing industries, your work will include:

  • developing new products
  • monitoring production
  • quality control
  • checking the safety of existing products

In a hospital, public health laboratory or research institute, your work will include:

  • carrying out tests on blood
  • researching the causes of disease
  • exploring new methods of treatment

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In agriculture and the environment, your work will include:

  • genetically engineering plants to create pest-resistant crops
  • improving the quantity of crops
  • developing and extending the shelf life of produce
  • monitoring the effects of pollution on the environment

As a biochemist in education, you could work in universities or colleges, or medical, veterinary or dental schools.

Working environment

You could work at a research facility, in a laboratory or at a university.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

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Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a team leader or manager, running a department, or move into research, sales and marketing, or scientific journalism.

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Visitor attraction general manager Wk 1, September

Welcome back to Career of the Week! I’m sure many of you visited at least one visitor attraction over the summer holidays: zoos, theme parks, museums and so on. Imagine being in charge of such an attraction – making sure that everyone has a fun, safe day out! Find out more about this interesting and varied career below …..

Visitor attraction general managers look after the operation and finances of an attraction, and the health and safety of staff and visitors.

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How to become a visitor attraction general manager

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

University

There is no set entry route to become a visitor attraction general manager but it may be useful to do a relevant foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:

  • tourism
  • resort management
  • marketing
  • business management

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Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

More information

College

You could work towards this role by doing a subject like a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Leisure and Tourism.

This would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need and may help you to get a job as a trainee assistant manager.

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Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

More information

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Work

It may be possible to work your way into this job by starting in a customer service or hospitality role, with an attraction, and apply for promotion when you’ve got enough experience.

Direct application

You can apply directly for jobs if you’ve got relevant skills and knowledge. For example, you’ll have an advantage if you’ve worked in visitor attraction management, or have experience in leisure, hospitality, catering or retail management.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about working as a visitor attraction general manager from the Hospitality Guild.

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • business management skills
  • leadership skills
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • maths knowledge
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

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Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

  • have a driving licence for some jobs

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • managing budgets
  • working with suppliers, local government, trade bodies and the media
  • overseeing health and safety procedures
  • staff training and recruitment
  • developing new business opportunities

Working environment

You could work at an art gallery, in a museum or at a zoo.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.

You may need to wear a uniform.

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Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to senior roles like divisional, regional or group director.

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Financial services customer adviser, Wk 31 July

Last week was our Work Experience week for Year 10 students. Eight of them were very kindly invited to attend the NatWest call centre office at Parklands, Middlebrook, where they learned all about the business of banking in the 21st century! 

They are currently advertising a Customer Services apprenticeship, paying over £18,000 per year! Just have a look on NatWest Careers for more details.

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Sales adviser, contact centre agent

Financial services customer advisers work in contact centres for banks, insurance, investment and credit companies.

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How to become a financial services customer adviser

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

College

You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant subjects include:

  • Level 1 Award for Introduction to Customer Service
  • Level 2 Certificate in Customer Service
  • Level 2 Certificate in Contact Centre Operations

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Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G) for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course

More information

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Apprenticeship

You can get into this job through a financial services customer adviser intermediate apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More information

Work

You could start as an admin assistant with a company and move into financial services work by training on the job.

Direct application

You could apply directly to become a financial services customer adviser. It will help if you have:

  • GCSEs, including English and maths, or equivalent
  • computer and keyboard skills
  • experience of customer service, cash handling or office work

More information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a financial services customer adviser from The London Institute of Banking and Finance.

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • the ability to sell products and services
  • maths knowledge
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

Most employers will expect you to have a credit check to confirm that you don’t have any outstanding debts which could prevent you from working in financial services.

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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • dealing with other businesses, private or company investors or members of the public
  • using computerised systems to access customer information and update account details
  • answering customers’ questions
  • providing straightforward information or dealing with complex enquiries
  • processing payments and withdrawals
  • keeping accurate records
  • promoting financial products and services
  • handling complaints or referring them to a supervisor
  • referring customers to staff to sell financial products

 

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Working environment

You could work in an office.

Career path and progression

With training and qualifications, you could specialise in mortgage advice, pensions work or financial advice.