T Levels & Industry Placements

New College Durham is one of four colleges and post 16 education providers across the North East to teach T Levels. From September 2020, T Levels in construction, digital, education and childcare will be delivered, with a further 22 courses being rolled out in stages from 2021.

 

What are industry placements?

Two thirds of employers recognise the significant or critical value of young entrants having work experience for the labour market, and half of employers believe a top priority for education providers should be developing awareness of working life with support from businesses (UK Commission’s Employer Perspectives Survey 2014).

As a result, the Department for Education (DfE) have guaranteed that all 16 to 19 year old students following a new technical education route will be entitled to a quality industry placement, to arm them with the relevant technical skills they need to give them the best possible opportunity to enter skilled employment.

T Levels are rigorous, classroom-based, technical study programmes, designed to support entry to skilled employment in technical occupations at Level 3 and above. A substantial, high quality industry placement (formerly ‘work placements’) with an external employer will be an essential part of each T Level.

These industry placements will give students a valuable opportunity to put their learning into practice, develop their technical skills and become more employable. Students will spend a minimum of 45 days with an external employer in a role directly relevant to their course.

 

Employers

Why should my business get involved?

Immediate benefits:

  • Extra resources for your projects and day-to-day operations from students developing skills in a course relevant to your business and industry
  • Give your employees the opportunity to develop management and mentorship skills
  • Bring a fresh perspective into your business
  • CSR impact: share with stakeholders how your business has supported local young people into industry placements, improving their employability and progression opportunities.

 

Long term benefits

  • Inspire the next generation to work in your industry
  • Address current and future skills shortages in your industry
  • Strengthen your recruiting pipeline and increase diversity
  • Shared value: benefits for business and society are correlated – increased social inclusion leads to new business opportunities.

 

Students

What are the benefits for you?

  • Build and develop your technical skills, increasing your competence and ability to progress into skilled employment.
  • Further develop your communication skills, teamwork and problem solving.
  • Gain deeper knowledge of the running of a business and general commercial principles.
  • Step out of your comfort zone, build confidence and learn about yourself. Identify your strengths and preferences for future career options.
  • Your employer may offer you an apprenticeship or a full-time role on completion of your course (this was the case for several students involved in the pilot last year).
  • Build a valuable working relationship with an employer and grow your network in the industry.