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York College Britcom 4

University for T Level students Jacob and Callum

T Level students Jacob Lyons and Callum Stephenson are both planning to study engineering at university after impressing during their work placements with Britcom.

The second-year York College & University Centre Engineering & Manufacturing students are coming close to the end of their 315 hours of industry experience with Andrew Sutton – a Workshop Foreman for the Market Weighton-based supplier of commercial vehicles – declaring that Jacob and Callum’s contributions have given the company a “massive leg up” on the project they have been working on.

Jacob, meanwhile, believes studying a T Level has made him “more employable” and helped him gain a greater knowledge of the industry, as he plans to now enter Higher Education on a mechanical engineering course.

Similarly, Callum has been offered a place to study engineering in Sheffield but wants to take a gap year first.

Britcom have been employing York College students on apprenticeship programmes since 2018 and have now begun providing work placement opportunities for our T Level students.

Both the firm and the students are seeing the valuable benefits that the T Level industry placement relationship brings. While the students are gaining industry knowledge, the placement provider can nurture the skills of the students, sharing guidance and expertise for smaller projects, allowing senior engineers to complete the more complicated tasks.

Workshop Foreman Andrew described Callum and Jacob as “really reliable and polite lads” and added that working with them “is a pleasure”.

He went on to say: “Taking on work placement students has been really beneficial. I know that every Monday they will be with us, so we save smaller jobs ready for them being on site. This means the senior engineers can work on more complicated projects and we can get through work a lot faster.

“Having Callum and Jacob with us has given us a massive leg up on the job and it’s rewarding to see how far they’ve come.

“It’s also good for the rest of the team as they can share their expertise. For the senior engineers, it’s enabled them to pass the knowledge on that they learnt from when they were students themselves.”

T Level students Jacob Lyons and Callum Stephenson with Britcom Workshop Foreman, Andrew Sutton.

The T Level programme allows students to put the skills taught on College campus into practice.

Jacob explained:

“In College, we learn how to operate the machinery and then during the work placement we get to use the equipment in real life.

“I’ve enjoyed learning practical skills on my work placement like marking out metal and ways of measuring, which you might not learn at College.

“At College, we’re taught about health and safety and then on our work placement we put it into practice. It’s also been good to learn how to use the machines safely and the precautions you need to take.

“The support at Britcom has been really good. There is always someone to help and guide us, ask for tips or borrow tools from!”

On being asked why he chose to study a T Level, Jacob shared:

“I decided to study the T Level in Engineering & Manufacturing because the course would give me more industry knowledge because of the work placement element. I felt the course would give me more experience and make me more employable.

“There is also good support at College. We are a small class so everyone is friends with everyone. We all work together and any problems, we address together. The tutors are good and we know them so well. It’s quite relaxed and conversational.

“After my T Level I’d like to go to university to study mechanical engineering.”

Also seeing the benefits of the T Level industry placement, Callum added:

“I chose to study a T Level because of the practical elements that some other qualifications don’t offer. The placement side of the course is great as I will finish my studies with real work experience.

“On my placement at Britcom, I’ve been learning and applying lots of skills like using the heavy machinery, welding, angle grinding and working on general parts of the chassis of lorries.

“The support from Britcom has been very good. Being based outside of York, they have also provided petrol money so there isn’t a cost to me to get to them. The team at Britcom are really supportive and nice.

“On my College course, I’ve really enjoyed learning about the Computer-Aided Design (CAD) side of engineering. The tutors at College support us and ‘egg us on’ a lot and they helped me get my work placement with Britcom. A highlight for me was in my first year when we did some welding lessons. They massively improved my skills.

“After I complete my T Level, I’d like to go to university to study engineering further; I’ve been accepted at Sheffield. First, though, I’d like to take a gap year.”

Learn more

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

Are you an employer considering offering an Industry Work Placement to a student?

Please reach out to our Placements Team by emailing placements@yorkcollege.ac.uk.

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”.

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