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York T level placements Oct 3

T Levels a 'huge step forward' declares placement partner

Building company GMI Construction have hailed T Levels “a huge step forward” after their first year of collaboration with York College.

The Leeds-based business, who work on projects and sites across the North of England and the Midlands, oversaw 45-day placements with two of our T Level Design, Surveying and Planning students – Ollie Lig and Jack Thompson - during the 2022/23 academic year.

That partnership will now be expanded with GMI planning to offer four more placements this year – two in October and two in March – having noted the value of the technical-based, two-year qualification that was introduced across the UK in 2020.

It is equivalent to three A Levels and focusses on vocational skills to assist students into skilled employment, higher study or high-level apprenticeships.

Claire Preston, GMI’s Head of Responsible Business, believes T Levels have the capacity to mould work-ready candidates for the construction industry.

On their merit, she said: “T Levels are an ideal way of attracting young people into the construction industry by allowing them to gain an overview of the opportunities available as well as the necessary technical skills. It also allows employers to get an early sight of potential new employees.

“T Levels are a huge step forward as students are considered work ready after the end of their course. I believe T Levels are a fantastic way of getting to know your future workforce and the placements give students the opportunity to work with all disciplines in the construction industry and, hopefully, we can help them pick their career path.

“Our goal is to recruit 50 T Level placements across the North of England by the end of 2024 and we are looking to recruit four T Level placements from York College for October and March next year.”

For T Level students, meanwhile, placements provide a perfect opportunity to consider whether a career in their chosen field, or a specific element, might be for them.

Ollie, from Fulford, has already inquired about the possibility of serving an apprenticeship with GMI next and Claire added: “Ollie came across in his interview very well. He made it clear that he wanted a role in construction but was not sure what he wanted to specialise in.

“He was a real hit on the site team with his attendance and eagerness. He was always asking questions and he really embraced his placement.

“He spent time with the Project Manager, Health & Saftey Manager, Design Manager and our Quantity Surveyors. We also put him with our supply chain on site.

“As a result, Ollie wants to specialise in construction management. He has kept in touch with me and wants a full-time apprenticeship.”

Ollie and Jack were on site with GMI every Wednesday and Thursday during the second year of their T Level studies to meet the 315-hour placement requirement of the course, enhancing the skills they have learned on Campus in a real-life workplace environment.

They joined a team working on the building of an Acute Brain Injury Unit in York.

At the start of this academic year, meanwhile, six of our second-year T Level Design, Surveying and Planning students were invited to visit a GMI work site (see main image) with the view to two of them starting placements later this month.

As part of the partnership with GMI, students and tutors from our HNC in Construction and the Built Environment have also attended site visits.

For more information on our T Level provision, please click here