Students broaden their skills after trip to the Caribbean 

Written by Emma

Turing Scheme funding gives students once-in-a-lifetime international work experience in the Caribbean.  

A group of vocational students from North Lindsey College and Doncaster College have broadened and developed their work and employability skills in St. Lucia thanks to Turing Scheme funding. The Turing Scheme is the UK’s global programme to study and work abroad enabling students to develop new skills, gain international experience and boost their employability.  

The students undertook placements in sports, public services and animal care/conservation work programmes designed to assist in acquiring their mandated work placement hours.  

With a collaborative effort between the DN Colleges Group International team and the talented people at Caribbean Elective, the trip was packed full of exciting experiences and fantastic charity efforts. Caribbean Elective are a company focused on life-changing experiences, that aims to give students the opportunity to experience the real day-to-day of Caribbean communities and inspire young people to change their outlook on life. 

Jack Pell (17) is studying on the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science programme at North Lindsey College and was one of the lucky students to attend the trip which has had a huge impact on his career aspirations. Jack said, “It really was a once in a lifetime experience. We did quite a bit of coaching in St Lucia, I already do some coaching at home but the experience was so different there. The people were so nice, grateful and welcoming of the coaching we did with them. It was my highlight of the trip, we learnt so many new skills and I have learnt to be more appreciative.”  

Jack continued, “Some of the work experience involved me delivering sport sessions at a school dedicated to sport. I like to play cricket and on one of days we had an arranged visit to the National Cricket Stadium and met some of the national players which was great. On another day we had a lecture by a professional on strength and conditioning. We worked during the week and at the weekend we had free time. On one of those days we spent the whole day on a boat and on the last day we had a beach barbeque and played football and cricket on the beach.”  

Jack was looking to go to university when he has completed his course programme at North Lindsey College, he has now decided to apply for an internship in St Lucia. Jack said, “I have always wanted to be involved in coaching and this trip has given me the confidence to go for it and travel abroad to inspire young people. Before this trip I would never have thought this would be an option for me but now I know it is. I would say to any other students to definitely take the opportunity to travel and find out where you want to go in life; you may not think it is for you, but take the opportunity.”    

Co-founder of Caribbean Elective, Harry Spear, commented: “These projects not only represent a life changing opportunity for students from DN Colleges group, they also give those students a very special opportunity to make a real difference in developing communities in the Caribbean. The confidence they build and the moments they’ll share with local people will hopefully stay with them long into the future. It’s a credit to the Turing Scheme that projects this ambitious can take place.”  

Liam Marsh, International Placement Supervisor at DN Colleges Group, said: “The experience can be quite literally life-changing for students who have their eyes opened to the wider world and further opportunities as well as being equipped with valuable and real work experience. The change in students after a mobility is marked, the increase in confidence visible. We support our students throughout their entire international experience, including hosting information sessions, language and culture training and providing accompanying persons for all our mobilities.”  

Liam continued, “Our priority is that all students realise the experience to its full potential. Many of our participants have never been abroad before, so it is a fantastic opportunity for them to work away from home, integrate with different cultures, gain new skills and a have a unique highlight on their CV. We work closely with our partners the Caribbean Elective to reflect the career development aims of individual participants, meaning the itineraries can provide each student with enhanced career prospects. WhatsApp groups were also set up so that students and staff could communicate, share pictures, and socialise with each other during their time in St. Lucia. A key local challenge is raising the aspirations of learners from our communities and The Turing Scheme has really helped us to achieve that.”