Vets Now is setting up a new scholarship scheme to fund vet nurse students from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.
The move is part of the emergency and critical care provider’s commitment to encouraging diversity.
It now plans to set up a BAME scholarship board, led by head of clinical nursing Racheal Marshall, to develop the scheme.
It’s estimated only 3 percent of the veterinary professions are from BAME backgrounds despite around 14 percent of the “working-age” population identifying as BAME.
Racheal said: “Encouraging diversity is greatly important to us and this scholarship is part of our commitment to embed a culture of diversity and inclusion within our teams to reflect the wider communities we serve.
“It will help remove financial barriers to that crucial first step into higher education and ensure vet nurses from all backgrounds are able to benefit from the wide range of opportunities that exist both in our company and the wider sector.
“This is another step towards building a culture that respects diversity and inclusion and improving conditions for future generations.”
Racheal has been tasked with recruiting appointees to the board. The majority of members will be BAME nurses from Vets Now and its parent company IVC Evidensia.
“The board’s remit will be to provide advice and guidance on the scholarship scheme and develop additional initiatives such as mentoring and placement schemes to support diversity in our business and the veterinary nursing profession.
“The board will then hand-pick candidates who demonstrate an enthusiasm for vet nursing, outstanding potential and subject knowledge to benefit from the scholarship.”
In September 2020, IVC Evidensia launched its own scholarship scheme to fund vet school undergraduates from BAME backgrounds.
The veterinary group – one of Europe’s largest – has created its own BAME scholarship board, which includes Vets Now veterinary surgeons Anton Thompson and Modou Camara.
For more information on either scholarship, email BAME@ivcevidensia.com