New T Levels integral to Careers Week celebrations
We have been busy celebrating National Careers Week here at College, something which is integral to our intent as a career focused tertiary education provider.
As Principal, one of my key messages to staff and curriculum delivery teams is that our College is about positive destinations and not just qualifications. That is why our curriculum is designed to get our students career ready and we put incredible emphasis on the importance of providing students with work placements and exposure to what careers actually look like. Students don’t attend College to get parked in education or study which doesn’t directly lead to something better.
Having a career focused curriculum, and enjoying strong links with businesses and career opportunities, enables the College to place each student on the right programme for them based on their starting point and career aim. Students here have personally designed study programmes and learning experiences at all levels, and these are built around progress towards an end result and skill development.
Apprenticeships are the traditional example of a career focused qualification that is directly linked to a job or career at the end of it. With the introduction of new T Level qualifications here at Nelson and Colne College Group from September in Digital and Education and Childcare, it is a new opportunity to provide additional technical career pathways to students in Pendle and the surrounding areas. This is why I am so keen for the T Level curriculum to be successful.
Within a T Level, students benefit from an in-depth work placement of at least 315 hours, which equates to a minimum of 45 days. This allows a student to make impact while on their work placement, and learn new skills and roles that are directly related to their programme of study. They are not with an employer just to do photocopying or do the office brew round.
Off the back of the introduction for T Levels, I think employers have a role to play in encouraging young people into jobs linked to the economy locally. One of the things that we know is that young people are strongly affected by the positive experiences that they have. For example, a day in an engineering workshop can inspire a career in engineering much more readily than when a student is sitting in a classroom learning about it.
Through my work with the Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub, I see the great work that the Enterprise Adviser Network do in bringing closer together the worlds of education and work. Anyone who might be interested in supporting this important work can visit www.lancashireskillshub.co.uk. Employers seeking to get involved with supporting the implementation of T Levels and work placements can contact the College directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next month, Amanda.