Budding scientists, keen business minds and the next generation of skilled construction workers are being set up for careers success by Lakes College’s expanded T Levels programme.
The college has been celebrating its students, staff and employer partners as part of the national T Levels week.
T Levels are new two-year courses, equivalent to three A-levels, which are designed with the goal of getting students ready to jump straight into the world of work after finishing their course.
The college recently added to its offering and currently delivers T Level courses in business, construction, digital, education, engineering, health and science, with each course including an in-depth, hands-on industrial placement.
Chris Nattress, principal at Lakes College, said: “T Levels are an exciting way of combining high-quality A-level equivalent learning in our college with an in-depth industry placement.
“We have the expert staff, first-class facilities and strong links with employers you need to set you up for your future, whether you want to continue your studies in higher education at university or move straight into work.
“We believe in creating clear pathways from your studies into the workplace and our T Levels are designed with employers to deliver the knowledge and skills they need.”
Students have praised the practical nature of the courses, which aim to not just teach knowledge and skills but put them into the context of the workplace.
Each course is designed with employers in mind to ensure students leave with what they are looking for.
Sienna Jenkinson began studying a T Level in construction on the design, surveying and planning pathway in September.
She said: “I want to be a quantity surveyor so I think the T Level – being equivalent to three A-levels – gives you a good level of learning to get a higher apprenticeship once you’ve completed the course.
“When I’m trying to get an apprenticeship, the fact that I’ve had that experience in the workplace is going to be a boost.”
Ethan Harrison hopes to progress to a foundation degree in applied chemistry at the college and has already gained valuable experience with an industrial placement at Innovia Films over the summer.
He said: “The course mixes in a good bit of practical work but there are a lot of industrial aspects.
“You learn the theory behind a piece of work and then you get the context of how it happens in the real world, so it takes your knowledge from the classroom and places it on the production line or in a lab.”
Employers have also welcomed the focus on developing a talented workforce which is work-ready and able to put their learning into practice.
Ashton Hoban, digital design and marketing manager at The BidBase in Cockermouth, said the company looks for recruits who are creative, reliable and have good attention to detail.
She said: “T Levels open up many more opportunities for students in Cumbria who want to gain industry experience, offering students a broader range of subjects rather than the traditional A-level subjects.
“Work placements prepare the students for work and help them to gain extra skills and confidence through working alongside a team.”
The BidBase recently hosted T Level digital student Adam Baxter for a placement.
Ashton added: “We have loved having Adam join The BidBase team.
“He is eager to learn new skills to progress in a digital career and puts 100 per cent into every task.
“We’re looking forward to seeing Adam’s progression over the next year with us.”