T Levels are a key part of the government’s reforms to revolutionise skills and technical education. They aim to generate a skilled workforce that businesses need for the future, as well as giving students the experience they need to progress into well-paid jobs, further study or an apprenticeship.
These high-quality technical courses, equivalent to three A levels, have been designed in collaboration with leading employers to provide the skills that businesses across the region need. The subject areas on offer also reflect some of the top local business growth areas.
Our first cohort of T Level students have now begun the second year of their studies. William is studying a T Level in Digital (IT) with us. He commented: “I chose the T Level because it covered all of the topics I thought would be useful for my future career, from software development and project management, to everything in-between.”
T Levels are unique as they combine classroom study with industry placements, enabling young people to gain valuable work experience in their chosen sector. Industry placements are core to the make-up of T Levels and see students spend an extended period (a minimum of 45 days) in a work environment to gain hands-on experience and learn vital technical skills.
William has secured a work placement with the Department of Education as a Software Developer. “The thing that stood out the most about the placement is that the work I do will actually be used – I will be working as a proper employee as part of a team. Where the placement is so long it will give me a really good insight into what the job role is like.”
Many local businesses are embracing T Levels as a great way to bring in new ideas and the latest skills and as a new way to find, nurture and secure young talent. Education and Childcare T Level students, Fyzah and Harmony, have already completed placements at local primary and infant schools during the first year of their course.
Reflecting on the course so far, Fyzah commented: “The placements have built my confidence as I’ve had the chance to experience new things. I’ve had opportunities to read to children and work with different age groups. It’s confirmed that I want to follow this career pathway.”
Harmony commented: “I’m planning a career as a Teaching Assistant and the course is helping me to understand what it’s all about. I’ve really enjoyed the placement as it helps you to see it in action and understand what you are learning about in lessons.”
T Level subjects available to school leavers starting this September include: Business and Administration, Construction, Digital (IT), Education and Childcare, Engineering and Manufacturing, Health and Social Care, and Legal, Finance and Accounting.
Principal CEO of Farnborough College of Technology, Virginia Barrett, commented: “We are delighted to be among the first colleges offering these new courses and of their ability to shape the next generation of workers. We cannot wait to see where the extensive experience acquired will take our students in their educational journeys and careers.”