Leicester College Blog

Leicester College helps Fareeda start new career in healthcare


When Fareeda Afinwala enrolled on the LPT/NHS Sector Based Work Academy Programme (SWAP) at Leicester College, she never dreamed that she would end up working in her dream job in healthcare.

Getting into the healthcare industry

“I applied for a job in the care industry many years ago and never had a response, so I never thought I’d end up working there,” Fareeda says. “I used to be a machinist in the retail sector and had my own business. The Job Centre told me that I could change my role and it might be beneficial to do a course first.”

The course on which Fareeda enrolled equips students with the right qualifications for working in the NHS and offers support when completing applications for current Leicestershire Partnership Trust (LPT) and wider NHS vacancies.

“I wasn’t happy about having to do a course at first but within the first few days, I got into it and really began enjoying it,” Fareeda continues. “I had lots of encouragement from the NHS and LPT which helped push me even more. The course gives you a lot of information which really helps when applying for jobs. Previously when I’d applied for jobs, I’d never got any interviews. After doing the course, I got an interview for every application I made.”

A life-changing course

Fareeda says it was the Job Centre that alerted her to the course at Leicester College, which put her on the right track and helped to change her life. The course was so beneficial, in fact, that she has several highlights from her time at College.

“The course just helped me so much and was so informative. One thing I learnt was using the right language when applying for jobs in the care industry – I wouldn’t have had any idea of that if I didn’t do the course. I also learnt about equality and diversity on the course, which is really important knowledge that you need to know.”

After finishing the course, Fareeda applied for a few jobs and was invited to interview for all of them.

“All of the jobs came back to me at the same time apart from the NHS, which took a bit longer,” she says. “I worked in a care home for six months in the interim while I waited for them to process my application.” 

Working my dream job

Fareeda has since left the care home after the NHS finalised her job offer and has been working as a Band 2 Healthcare Support Worker (HCSW) on a mental health ward with the LPT.

“I’m really enjoying it,” Fareeda says. “I love my job. I love waking up and going into work, and I think I’m going to retire in this place. I love the people that I work with and that I work for.

“I never thought I’d end up in this job but I just love it so much.”

 Work your way up

Fareeda says that she would definitely recommend the LPT/NHS SWAP course to anyone who wants to work in healthcare.

“I think it’s better to start at the bottom and work your way up,” she says. “You can’t just do this course and end up in a high level job, but the course gives you a solid foundation that you can use to make quick progress.

“My manager also told me when I applied for this role, that doing this course made a lot of difference and really boosted my application, so I would definitely recommend it – it’s been so beneficial.

“I never thought I’d end up where I am today and be working as a HCSW,” Fareeda concludes. “But the course has turned everything around for me, it’s changed my life.”

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