Learning for Work

Emma Searle

2019 National Winner

Emma wanted to pursue a career as a paramedic, but didn’t have the required qualifications. Her learning journey began when she decided to retake her English, maths and science GCSEs at Petroc College in Devon, and she is now studying paramedicine at UWE Bristol.

“Two things led me to study for my chosen career. When I was 12 my father passed away unexpectedly. I felt helpless and often thought if I’d had medical training I might have been able to change the outcome. I wanted to train and to give back to the community what I could not give to my father. Now, I am a wife, a mother to two children and step mother to three and I’ve had times where we have had to call for medical assistance. Seeing the paramedics help my family has made me feel impelled to help other families needing assistance.

I hadn’t achieved the grades needed at school for a paramedicine degree, so I retook my GCSE English, maths, and science exams at Petroc, then completed an access to higher education course. I also volunteered as a community first responder. I’m now undertaking a degree in paramedic science at UWE Bristol, which will give me the education and experience I need to be a paramedic.

The difference the learning has made in my life is massive. I get to do what I have always wanted to do which is save lives, and with every course I complete, my dream of being a paramedic is becoming a reality.”

Simon Shipley, head of faculty at Petroc, said “Emma’s learning has transformed her view of herself from someone who did not feel capable of academic success to someone who is capable of whatever she sets her mind on.”