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21 March 2019

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Enterprise M3 colleges will pioneer educational reform by offering T Levels

Two Enterprise M3 colleges will be among the first in the country to offer the new, ground-breaking T Level qualifications from September next year. Farnborough College of Technology and Peter Symonds College, Winchester, were both selected by the Government to deliver the courses following expression of interest exercises. Both will offer anEducation & Childcare T Level, with a Digital T Level also provided by Farnborough, to the student intake of 2020/21.  T Levels are the result of a major shake-up of education choices post-16, with the Government determined that they will be on a par with A levels for prestige. T Levels will offer a world-class, high-level, technical route into skilled employment and include English, maths and digital components.  Students will be granted a high-calibre industrial placement, lasting at least 45 days, and be mentored by employers who will have been closely involved in the course content. Nicola Morgan, Learning & Development Manager at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, is working with education providers to trial the T Level placements.  She said: “For the organisation, it gives you an opportunity to get to know the individual and they get to see the culture of the organisation, as well as getting to know you. Also, it’s not just about investing in new staff but also developing your current workforce as they will be mentoring and supporting the new person but also sharing their expertise with them. Industry placements help with diversity and creativity in the workforce, as the young people will come with fresh ideas. Not only that, but it raises the aspirations of young people in our local community. “My main message would be that the talent is on our doorstep so embrace it and support it. I’m a great advocate of the T Levels and what it will mean for our future workforce.”   On its website, Farnborough College of Technology, announced: “We will soon be one of the first colleges in the country to offer technical levels (T Levels) – an alternative to A Levels and apprenticeships.  “Help us train tomorrow’s workforce – become an Industry Placement Partner with Farnborough College of Technology. There has never been a better time to get involved in shaping the workforce of tomorrow so why not start working with us – your local college. Our courses prepare students for careers in the creative, IT, engineering, business, construction, health, science, and service industries.”  It adds that the benefits to employers include: • Cost-effectively reaching and developing talented students with a view to potentially recruiting them – before other organisations do• Playing a role in resolving the UK’s skill shortage• Trialling students before considering them for an apprenticeship or employment• Developing aspiring managers through the coaching or mentorship of a student• Having an extra pair of hands and a fresh perspective in the workplace• Feeling supported and belonging to a new network of employers. We will be in regular contact with you, ensure students have an existing knowledge of your industry, and minimise the amount of admin work needed on your part Education Secretary Damian Hinds has said that T Levels are “a once in a lifetime opportunity to reform technical education in this country so we can rival the world’s best performing systems”. His views are strongly backed by Enterprise M3 chair Dave Axam, including the Secretary’s call for Britain to drop its ‘snobby’ attitude to technical and vocational education or risk its workers being left behind.  T Levels will support the growth aims in Enterprise M3 LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan and Local Industrial Strategy, by ensuring residents and employees have the high-level skills that businesses require to grow. There are currently concerns that a skills shortage could impede economic expansion in the region. 

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