Young people in Chichester encouraged to consider new T Level qualifications - 'They are a game changer'
Chichester MP Gillian Keegan has backed calls for young people to consider new T Level qualifications.
The pioneering new qualifications, first launched at Chichester College in September 2020, are equivalent to three A Levels.
Described as unique. the qualifications combine classroom study with a substantial industry placement so young people gain valuable work experience in their chosen sector.
Further courses will be available to study in Chichester from September 2021 meaning T Level courses will be available to students across the following subject areas: Digital, Design & Development, Education & Childcare, Construction, and Healthcare and Science.
Gillian Keegan Chichester MP and minister for apprenticeships and skills said: “T Levels are a game changer for young people, providing a fantastic high-quality technical alternative to A-levels.
"These innovative new qualifications have been created in collaboration with leading employers and uniquely include a nine-week industry placement, giving students crucial experience in the workplace.
“I had the pleasure of meeting some of the pioneering T Level students at Chichester College following the launch of the courses last year and it was great to hear their excitement about where the qualifications will take them.
"With many more T Levels available from September, I’d encourage young people thinking of careers in digital, education and childcare, construction, and healthcare science to find out more.”
The qualifications were designed in collaboration with leading employers, so they will 'provide the skills that businesses across the city need' and 'reflect some of the top current growth areas in Chichester'.
From September, Chichester College Group will be offering new T Level qualifications at its Chichester College and Crawley College campuses in the healthcare and science route, adding to its existing courses in; design; surveying and planning for construction; digital production; design and development and education and childcare.
Industry placements see students spending an extended period (at least 45 days) in a work environment, at a local business, gaining 'hands-on experience' and 'learning vital technical skills'.
Many local businesses are also looking at T Levels as a way to bring in new ideas and the latest skills and as a 'new way to find, nurture and secure young talent'.
Lucy Goman, who is studying the education and childcare T Level at Chichester College, said: "T Levels are brand new qualifications, which did scare me a little bit but what really appealed to me was that we would be going into real placement settings.
"I love the practical side of teaching, something that's hard to learn in a classroom, so knowing I am going to be going into an environment where I can transfer what I've learnt at college into practice was really important to me.
"We've been exploring so much, including the importance of sensory lessons and why they are fantastic for children's development.
"Our lecturers have been amazing at adapting to the situation around us, planning interactive lessons and coming up with various ways for us to learn through children's eyes. It's been fantastic."
Growing firms and local employers like Safety Belt Solutions have backed T Levels.
Technical manager Stephen Saunders said: “Safety Belt Solutions has committed to taking four T Level Digital Production, Design and Development students on work placement.
"We recognise the benefits which both our business and the students can gain through our relationship with our local college in developing the skillset of the next generation.
"Being able to offer up to 315 hours of industry placement enables them to gain hands on exposure to long-term business projects and gain valuable experience to contextualise the theory they have developed in the classroom.
"As an organisation we are keen to see the benefits these students will bring to our business and to see them grow as individuals during their time with us.”
After the coronavirus outbreak, T Levels will play a 'key part in rebuilding the economy', boosting access to high-quality technical education for 'thousands of young people'.
Shelagh Legrave OBE, outgoing Chief Executive of the Chichester College Group, said: “We are proud to have been among the first colleges in the country to offer T Levels, and it has been fantastic to see how these new qualifications have been embraced by young people.
“I know our first year of T Level students speak highly about their courses and we are excited to be introducing new courses from September 2021.
“T Levels are the next step up for 16-19 year old students who know which direction they wish to pursue for a career
“Combining 20% industry placement with 80% in college learning helps students to progress into skilled employment, university and higher-level study or apprenticeships.”
For more information about T Levels, and to find out about forthcoming open days this summer at Chichester College, visit www.chichester.ac.uk.
Chichester College Group is hosting open events, which will include T Level information ,on June 28 and 29, from 4 to 7pm. These events will support students in making future choices and places can be booked here: www.chichester.ac.uk/study-courses/openFind the nearest T Level providers to you here: www.tlevels.gov.uk/students/find