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With the health and social care sector such a vital part of the Plymouth economy, and with demand for skilled workers to join this essential area of work rising, City College Plymouth has been developing its care department.
In addition to a brand-new care hub that is providing students with access to some of the latest equipment that is essential in both healthcare and childcare, the College has been growing its team of expert, industry-experienced lecturers.
Among several new appointments is Rachael Edgeler, who took up her position in August. A former Royal Navy nurse, Rachael is also qualified and has experience working in early years education, and in 2020 she completed a degree in primary education. Whilst working in further and higher education wasn’t her initial goal, Rachael said joining the team at the College and being able to pass on all of the knowledge she has acquired over the years has been the perfect move for her.
Rachael said: “It’s a very exciting time to have joined the College with its commitment to developing the care department; a move that will benefit both students and the wider community.
“I love working with young children and helping them start to discover the world, but working at the other end of the education spectrum means I know the direct impact my involvement will have. The skills I’m teaching them now will be ones they use in their careers going forward, and that’s very exciting.”
Having trained as a nurse with the Royal Navy, Rachael is able to provide health and social care students with in-depth sector knowledge, insight into a variety of clinical skills, and enable them to apply theory to real life situations. In addition to frontline healthcare experience, Rachael is also hugely knowledgeable in childcare and education. After ten years as a nurse and with young children, Rachael decided to work alongside her parents at their nursery, Hobby Horse. She gained a BA in Early Years with Early Years Teacher status and quickly took on more responsibilities at the Plympton-based childcare provider, where she worked for 17 years, providing quality early years education and care for thousands of children. When her parents decided to retire, she too decided it was time for another challenge, and went on to achieve a First Class Honours Degree in Primary Education at Plymouth Marjon University.
Rachael said: “Working in post-16 education wasn’t my original plan when I started the degree, but the opportunity to share everything I have learned over the years is really rewarding. I did wonder how different it would be to teaching primary to begin with, but the process involved is largely the same – the main difference is my students now range from 16 to 60.
“The feedback I get from my students is really rewarding and seeing how they progress via their assignments, knowing this will help them achieve their goals is a great feeling. Students who study these subjects are committing themselves to helping others, and it’s a real joy to be a part of that.”
Despite being in the first year of a new job, Rachael is also continuing her own higher education studies with a master’s degree, something the College is very supportive of. “The College is a really friendly place to work that also values professional development. I expressed my interest in doing a master’s quite early on and this was met with great encouragement. The College is really committed to training excellent and highly skilled people, who will be able to use their training for the benefit of the Plymouth community, and I’m enjoying being a part of this.”