New College Durham is the only college in the region shortlisted to become an Institute of Technology and selected to deliver T Levels

New College Durham is one of only four FE providers in the country to be both named in the government’s shortlist to become an Institute of Technology (IoT) and to deliver the new T Level qualification.

As an IoT, New College Durham will offer top quality training and apprenticeships in higher-level technical skills, ranging from A-Level equivalents up to degree level and above. The College’s application was created in partnership with Newcastle University, Nissan and Esh Group and also includes a range of other colleges from across the region to form the Institute of Technology North East (IoTNE).

The College consulted with over 20 key regional employers, including Nissan, ESH Group, Komatsu, Siemens and Tarmac, when developing the proposal, to ensure employers would support the College and students by providing training that addresses the gaps in skills, and the emerging skills required by the region.

16 providers across the country have made the shortlist to progress to the final stage of the application process to become an IoT. The successful proposals are expected to be announced at the end of the year.

New College Durham has also been selected as only one of four providers in the region to trial delivery of the new T Levels qualifications. These are a new technical Level 3 qualification that is equivalent to A-Levels. The new routes in digital, construction and education & childcare will be introduced to the participating institutions in 2020.

Each T Level qualification will equip learners with the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to enter employment, or progress onto further technical training, by incorporating a 50% increase of practical training hours. This will include a valuable, high quality three month work placement with one of the employers New College Durham has already established strong links with. These employer links are integral to students succeeding on the qualifications.

This unique collaboration between training providers and employers will give employers the strongest voice in determining and delivering the skills they identify as essential, whilst giving individuals the opportunity to improve and acquire the skills required to build a successful career.

Following the recent £4m that New College Durham has spent on developing the facilities for digital industries, advanced manufacturing and higher skills, a further £6m has been approved and will focus on improving the facilities for STEM subjects. The exciting project is due to be completed by 2020 and will ensure New College Durham continues to deliver industry standard teaching as an Institute of Technology.

John Widdowson, Principal and Chief Executive of New College Durham, commented:

“New College Durham is extremely proud to have been selected as one of the pilot training providers to introduce the new T Level qualifications alongside our application to become an Institute of Technology. These would work hand-in-hand to make us an outstanding provider of technical qualifications. The College will continue to provide the best quality technical vocational and professional courses, and looks forward to designing and developing these new exciting qualifications in partnership with local employers.”