An aspiring young paramedic studying at UCB is one of just eight out of 95 16-19 year old health and care students to reach the grand final of WorldSkills UK.
Alisha Rehman, an 18-year-old volunteer with St John Ambulance, impressed judges with both her knowledge and practical skills at the regional heat of the competition at South Devon College’s Centre for Health Care Professionals in Torquay.
She is now going all out to clinch a top three spot at the national final at the NEC in November. And if she succeeds, she could be included in Squad UK for the international final in Shangai in 2021.
Currently in the last year of her Level 3 Health and Social Care course at UCB, during which she did an invaluable placement at a cardiology ward, Alisha said she was thrilled to get through.
“I can't believe and it certainly would not have been possible without the incredible support of the health and social care lecturers at UCB," she said. "It was very challenging, but thanks to Sarah and the amazing actors - UCB lecturers - preparing me, I somehow reached the final. I am really looking forward to it.”
Alisha was selected to compete in the regional heat of WorldSkills UK, which aims to identify the nation’s rising stars from across over 70 disciplines - from hairdressing to building information modelling - alongside fellow UCB students Jasmin Muzein and Aisha Samah Hussein.
Jasmin was thrilled to win third place in the heat, while the youngest of the three, Aisha, put in an impressive performance, despite not securing a top three spot.
All three were put through a variety of practical exercises designed to support individuals to maintain their independence, dignity and control.
Using professional actors and actresses, they had to demonstrate skills such as diabetes care, look after an individual who had suffered a stroke and run a health and wellbeing clinic.
They also needed to show they had excellent communication skills to guarantee the best patient care and a working knowledge of health and safety.
UCB health and social care lecturer Sarah McCarthy said all three girls had studied and practised for the gruelling, eight-hour test of their skills over three days until 11pm the night before.
“They showed such commitment to what lay before them,” she said. “It was quite surreal as all the competitors had to be chaperoned and could not speak to the other competitors or have any devices or phones on them. Once the competition started, it was exciting, but the pressure was great and I saw from watching one of the other competitors from a different college that the standard was exceptionally high.
“I am so pleased with how they all did and particularly proud that Alisha ranked nationally and has a place in the final. Yes, there is still more work and training for her to undertake, but if she ranks in the top three, she has the chance to compete in Shanghai next year, which would be amazing.”
Alisha, Jasmin and Aisha were supported at the regional heat by Sarah and fellow health and social care lecturer Gemma Plume.
Find out more about studying health and social care at UCB and courses with the School of Education, Health and Community.