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T Level student Veli hails qualification as ‘fantastic pathway for a rewarding business career’

York College T Level student Veli Arif has described his work placement with the Wilberforce Trust charity as “confidence-boosting, valuable and enlightening”.

He also believes that the two-year technical qualification is proving “a fantastic pathway to prepare (him) for a rewarding career in the business world”.

Veli, who is currently in the second year of his T Level Business course, has had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in his chosen field of work at the centre that provides support for people with visual and hearing impairments.

Based at Wilberforce House in Dringhouses, the Trust, which was first established in 1833, offers guidance in areas such as supported housing, supported living, sensory impairment assessments, sight registrations and rehabilitation support.

The Trust is home, too, to Club Wilber, which offers adapted activities, events and trips that are suitable for families with visually impaired children and their siblings.

Veli’s responsibilities during his placement have included planning and designing a sensory garden, managing email communications and handling financial work.

The Trust also welcomed his input in terms of social media growth ideas, particularly on TikTok, while Veli has developed a greater understanding of the challenges and needs of individuals with disabilities too.

T Levels have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses and offer the opportunity of 315 hours of industry placement.

Robert Halfon, Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education, said:

"T Levels are a great way for students to climb the ladder of opportunity towards a successful career with the right skills, confidence and career adaptability needed to thrive in the workplace.

“There are now 18 high-quality T Levels available, including agriculture and legal services, with more providers coming onboard helping thousands of young people unlock their potential. By establishing strong ties between education providers and employers, we are shaping individuals who can align with a company's values whilst building a skilled and versatile workforce ready to tackle the problems of tomorrow.”

Veli Arif, T Level Business student, on being asked about his experience said:

Why did you choose to study a T Level?

“I chose to study a T Level because it aligns perfectly with my career aspirations and offers a practical, hands-on approach to learning. I believe that T Levels provide a strong foundation in the specific skills and knowledge required for my chosen industry, which is Business Management and Administration.

“This programme not only equips me with valuable technical skills but also includes a meaningful industry placement, allowing me to gain real-world experience and build connections in the field. I am confident that completing a T Level will prepare me for a successful and fulfilling career in Business.”

How has your experience of York College been so far?

“My experience at York College and on my course has been very positive. The college provides a supportive and conducive learning environment. My tutor has been knowledgeable and helpful, guiding me through the course material effectively. Overall, I've had a great experience.”

How have you found your work placement at Wilberforce Trust?

“My placement at the Wilberforce Trust has been a valuable and rewarding experience. It has allowed me to apply the knowledge and skills I've gained in my studies to real-world situations. The team at the Wilberforce Trust have been supportive, and I've had the opportunity to learn and contribute to meaningful projects. Overall, it has been a great learning experience.”

During your placement, what have been your duties?

“During my placement at Wilberforce Trust, I've been involved in a variety of tasks. This includes planning and designing a sensory garden, managing email communications, and handling financial work. These responsibilities have allowed me to develop a range of skills and contribute meaningfully to the organization's goals.

“In addition to my tasks, I've had the opportunity to learn about disabilities, which has been an enlightening aspect of my placement. Understanding the challenges and needs of individuals with disabilities has given me a broader perspective and enhanced my empathy and awareness.”

How has the placement fitted in with your studies at college?

“My placement at the Wilberforce Trust has complemented my college studies perfectly. It has allowed me to apply the knowledge and skills I've gained in the classroom to real-world situations. The practical experience I've gained during my placement has deepened my understanding of the subjects I'm studying at College and has provided valuable context to my coursework.”

What benefits have you seen from a work placement?

“My work placement has offered several significant benefits. Firstly, it has provided me with real-world experience and practical skills that I wouldn't have gained solely through coursework.

“Secondly, it has helped me build a professional network and gain insights into my chosen field. Lastly, the placement has boosted my confidence and clarified my career goals. Overall, it's been an invaluable opportunity for my personal and professional growth.”

What would you say to others who are considering doing a T Level in Business?

“I would encourage anyone considering a T Level in Business to go for it. This programme offers a unique blend of classroom learning and hands-on experience that provides a solid foundation for a successful career.

“It's a practical and effective way to gain valuable skills and industry knowledge. My advice would be to fully engage in the coursework, seek out opportunities for industry placements, and be open to learning from both the classroom and real-world experiences. It's a fantastic pathway to prepare for a rewarding career in the business world.”

Samantha Scholey, Operations Director at Wilberforce Trust, said:

“It has been an absolute pleasure and delight to have a student placement help support the Wilberforce Trust. Veli has supported the Activities and Events team with planning for a number of activities and has also supported the fundraising efforts for our Sensory Garden. Whilst this wasn’t reverse mentoring, we have definitely benefitted from the skillset, knowledge and experience that a student had as Veli was able to also support with social media, especially Tik Tok and help generate ideas and research into how other charities use their social media as it is an area of growth for us at the Trust.

“I think that it is a wonderful opportunity to provide placements to students as it gives them work experience, supports their learning and development and also introduces them to a workplace, all while helping businesses.

“I would definitely want to do this again with York College and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to others.”

The Global Goals for Sustainable Development

Opportunities such as these, allow us to work towards a better future in line with The Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

The Sustainable Development Goals or Global Goals are a collection of 17 interlinked objectives designed to serve as a "shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future”.

Which of the goals did this project benefit?

Learn more

For more information on T Levels at York College & University Centre, click here.

For more information on Wilberforce Trust, click here..

Learn more about the Global Goals for Sustainable Development here.