Furness College is among those selected to deliver the latest round of T levels putting it at the forefront of high-quality technical skills training.
The college has been successful in the second round of delivery for the qualification that will be offered from September 2021 at the Channelside campus.
T levels are new two-year courses starting nationally in September 2020, which will follow GCSEs and will be equivalent to 3 A Levels. They have been developed in collaboration with employers and the college will offer training in the areas of digital, health and child care, and education and science.
Speaking about the changes Principal and Chief Executive Andrew Wren said it reflected the work the college does to meet the needs of the local business community and offers a clear and equal choice between technical and academic education post-GCSE.
“The new T levels are only awarded to colleges that can clearly demonstrate both the skills to deliver these technical qualifications and a higher level of working with employers. We know that there is a need for greater skills in digital, health and child care, and education and science – where four out of five emerging jobs need high level digital technical skills.
“This will bring technical qualifications into parity with A levels, which are offered at our sixth form campus, with T levels being much more focused on industrial placements and technical understanding.
“We know there is a need for more people in Cumbria to achieve higher qualifications in digital, education and health and this offers a chance to do this.
“We’re already well-known for the quality of our technical engineering qualifications at our £47million world-class campus and we will look to offer those as T levels in coming years, if initial national pilots are successful.”
T levels will offer students a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 315 hours (approximately 45 days). They will provide the knowledge and experience needed to open the door into skilled employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship.
The college is now seeking to create a bank of employers across Barrow and the surrounding areas who can support industrial placements when the new T levels come into force.
It will introduce the new qualification in 2021 but, in preparation, is recruiting employers who can offer 300 hours of work to students over two years.
Deputy Principal Mark Nicholson said: “We are calling on employers who work in health, digital and education sectors to plan ahead and contact us if they are keen to get on board with this positive new development in education and support placements which are of mutual benefit to the business and student.
“The students are 16-18, driven and committed and can offer a fresh perspective to the company and valuable contribution to workplace practice. The placement will benefit both the learner and the workplace.”
For more information on T levels at Furness College please email [email protected]