23rd October 2019
York College is one of the first College’s in the UK to offer T Levels from 2020 and is looking for employers to get onboard by offering industry work placements.
York College has been building capacity for the T Level courses next year and has launched the work placement system early to enable success from 2020. Kundai Moyo studies Engineering Multiskill Diploma Level 3, and has an Industry Work Placement at 10 Squared Ltd.
Kundai says: I chose the company as they use 3D CAD, which is one of the units on her Engineering course. It was a good opportunity for me to acquire more knowledge about the designing, making and assembling of products using 3D CAD and CNC machines. I was only familiar with the CAD software when I first started, and I learnt more about how that works. I also tried using machines like the laser cutter, hydraulic press and welding machines. All of this is helped to improve my knowledge and practical skills and now I feel better informed about what it is like working in industry. I want to take on aerospace engineering as my career and this placement gave me a lot to think about in terms of a back-up plan, just in case I fail to get into aerospace. I think the main benefit of work placements is getting real-life experience of how things really are in the work place."
Sarah Pearson, Office Manager at 10 Squared says: “We are a Technology based Engineering company, and whilst technology is fast moving and ever changing at 10 Squared it also incorporates time tested working practices within the field of engineering. We can offer students a range of skills, new and old, covering many different disciplines. It is great to pass these skills onto students who will one day become our next generation of workers and hopefully keep our industry alive.”
The new technical qualifications follow GCSEs and are equivalent to three A Levels. Starting in September 2020, York College will offer T Levels in Construction, Digital Technologies and Childcare/Early Years Education, with Healthcare to follow in 2021, and other areas in subsequent years.
T Levels combine classroom theory, practical learning and include a significant Industry Placement to ensure students have real experience of the workplace, providing a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate and apply the knowledge and skills learnt in the classroom in a real work situation. The two year T Level courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses to meet the needs of industry and to prepare students for work. T Levels also include exams which are externally set and moderated. As part of the programme, students undertake a 315+ hour work placement (roughly 45 days), which can be entirely focused around a project an employer would like to complete, or to involve a student in completing tasks associated with the sector (in a supportive capacity).
T Levels are designed to prepare students to progress into a skilled job, or students may choose to take further technical training such as a higher apprenticeship course, or progress to a degree qualification. By studying a T Level, students will have the opportunity to continue their studies and get a much broader idea of what it is like to work in a certain sector, with the opportunity to specialise.
T Levels form an important part of the Government’s solution to the skills shortage. Forward thinking businesses are looking for employees with a technical education and work placement experience. Local and regional employers are therefore encouraged to offer T Level work placements to York College students to help nurture the next generation of skilled workers.