Final year Speech & Language Therapy (SLT) student Jack Griffiths recently contributed to diversity workshops at the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. At the workshops SLT students and recently qualified SLTs came together to suggest strategies to get more young people interested in considering SLT careers.
The focus of the workshops was how to recruit a more a diverse range of people to become SLT practictioners. Jack, who was asked to attend by his lecturer, contributed ideas to a group focused on recruiting more men into the SLT profession. Only 3% of current UK SLT practictioners are men.
A second group explored recruiting people from a wider range of ethnicities while the third group explored how career progression opportunities for SLTs influences diversity within the profession.
Jack said: “Anyone can do it. It’s about having a key interest in communication and wanting to help people”. He continued that his own experience as a trainee SLT practictioner has been very positive.
“I really like the placements, all have been excellent in giving me opportunities to apply what I’ve learnt to real clients, each one has been a boost to my confidence. I can go forward, knowing what I’m good at and where I need to put in that bit more work. Plus the lecturers have been absolutely fantastic”.
It was personal experience of SLT as a child that later sparked Jack’s interest in the profession. He said: “I didn’t know what I wanted to do at 18 so I did some research and came across Speech and Language Therapy. I realised that I’d had it when I was younger, as had another family member. I understood the benefits first-hand and it sparked this pure interest for me in SLT”.
Jack found the diversity workshops to be insightful. He continued: “I think the work being done by the RCSLT on diversity will give clients more options in terms of who they can see. It is important to strive for a profession that is more reflective of a diverse population so that young people know anyone can become an SLT”.
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