In collaboration with Tech Solent, Fareham College welcomed Gillian Keegan MP, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, Caroline Dinenage MP, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, local employers and guests to an exciting Digital Forum event at the College to launch its Digital Employers Group.
Chaired by Phil Clark from Tech Solent, employers engaged with the panel discussing the choices available for school leavers, why T Levels are different, successful and crucial for the economy’s recovery and how T Levels can help local employers. Panel members included Minister Keegan, who joined the event virtually, Caroline Dineage MP, Rob Nitsch, Chief Operating Officer from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE), Kate Mason, Training Design Manager at Hampshire Constabulary and Ashley Martin, Faculty Director for Enterprise and Digital Industries at Fareham College.
During the panel discussion, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills Gillian Keegan said, “T Levels are a game changer for young people, providing a fantastic high-quality technical alternative to A Levels and helping to produce the highly skilled talent pipeline of tomorrow. It was great to join the Digital Employers Group at Fareham College and discuss how the qualifications can help local employers. T Levels have been created in collaboration with leading employers to ensure students get the skills they need succeed and businesses have the workforce they require for the future. I’d urge businesses in the area to find out how they can support local talent by hosting a T Level student.”
Digital and Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage added, “It was great to hear about the excellent work being done at Fareham College to help prepare students for the world of work. T Levels are a great opportunity for employers and colleges to come together to tackle skills gaps and help young people get on the ladder to a great job.”
Fareham College Principal and Chief Executive said, “We were delighted to hold this event for local employers to find out more about how they can get involved with the new T Level qualifications, opening up numerous opportunities for young people, providing them with real-world experience, while building local talent for the future. From September, we will be offering a number of new T Level courses, including three in digital industries; Digital Design, Production and Development; Digital Business Services and Digital Support Services, all of which will aid students in gaining the vital skills, knowledge and experience to excel in their chosen career.”
Digital Production, Design and Development T Level student, Tom Stray, who has been undertaking his T Level placement with CTech Business said, “The thing that attracted me most to studying this T Level course was not only the fact that it is different to studying A Levels, but especially the industry placement element, as this will really benefit me in the future when I am looking for a job, as I will already have gained solid experience in the workplace. The course is going very well, and I am really enjoying the website development modules. I have been out on my industry placement for the last three weeks and it is going great! I have been working on developing the website and I feel that this work experience will help me get ahead when applying for jobs in the future. Once I have completed my T Level course, I would like to undertake an Apprenticeship in IT. The support from Fareham College has been excellent and I would definitely recommend this course to others.”
Managing Director at CTech Business Solutions, Andy Dennahy added, “The industry placement initiative is brilliant! To be able to take on smart young people like Tom, who have the right attitude and enthusiasm, meant that we were able to offer him real workplace experience straight away. He has been an invaluable asset so far in improving our website and we look forward to continuing to work with him. These new qualifications offer employers an opportunity to get involved in shaping the workforce of the future as well as giving young people confidence.”
The Government are now offering employers a £1000 incentive to employers who offer industry placements to T Level students from now until July 2022.
Another T Level student Elvis Ober-Atkins said, “I choose to study a T Level as I wanted to do an academic course after school but rather than study three different subjects, I wanted to focus on one area. The industry placement also attracted me to the course. I am really enjoying the course and we have had the opportunity to complete lots of different projects and attend masterclasses delivered by organisations such as IBM, Office for National Statistics and Hampshire Constabulary. After I have finished my T Level at Fareham College, I would like to go to university and study Computer Science.”
Phil Clark, founding member of Tech Solent and CEO of Embedded IT, who chaired the panel discussion commented, “It was really interesting to see how strategically important T Levels are at both government and regional level. Tech Solent’s objective is to support the Solent region in developing skills for the technology industry and we see T Levels as front and centre of achieving this.”
If you would like to find out more about T Levels, industry placements or the new incentive available for employers, please visit fareham.ac.uk/t-levels or call Fareham College on 01329 815200.