A STUDENT aiming to forge her way in the health and social care industry has undertaken a work placement with a difference – by volunteering at a crematorium.
Ellis Worth has shunned working in a children’s nursery or in a shop to spend time working as an assistant at Bretby Crematorium.
The 17-year-old, who is a health and social care student at Burton and South Derbyshire College, volunteered to work at the crematorium to follow in the footsteps of her mother, who works in the funeral care industry.
She said: “People think that working in a crematorium is scary but it isn’t like that at all. You definitely need to have a caring nature to work here, providing relatives with support during an emotional time.
“Work placements give you real experience in dealing with situations you learn about in college.
“My course will set me up for a career in health and social care – I plan to become a funeral director, a social worker or a therapist in the future.”
Miss Worth is required to complete 100 hours’ work experience as part of her course and, as part of her placement, has been using the skills she has developed on her course to undertake a range of duties, including dealing with inquiries, working in the office and helping to set up funerals.
In addition to working at the crematorium, she will also be gaining experience in a range of health and social care occupations such as youth clubs and care homes.
Helen Clarke, crematorium officer at Bretby Crematorium, said: “We are happy to provide a limited number of work placements to suitable learners where appropriate.
“There are a lot of areas for them to gain experience in and it gives them an insight into a different type of career.
“I would definitely encourage other employers to take on a work experience learner; you get valuable help in your business, while giving the next generation of workers the chance to gain real work skills.”
Jackie Croxall, work experience co-ordinator at the college, said: “Work placements provide learners with vital experience in their chosen industries, at the same time as giving employers additional help.”