Fareham College staff and students and employers were delighted to welcome the Right Honourable Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education, to the College to open the brand new T Level facilities and qualifications at the Bishopsfield Road campus and the College’s new Civil Engineering Training Centre in Lee-on-the-Solent.
T Levels are a new two-year qualification for 16 to 19 year-olds. Designed with employers, with a 45-day industry placement at the heart of each course, T Levels will help young people develop the knowledge, attitude and practical skills to thrive in the workplace. Worth the equivalent of three A Levels and offer the same UCAS points means that students can progress onto university, an Apprenticeship or employment.
Joined by the Right Honourable Suella Braverman QC MP, Attorney General for England and Wales and MP for Fareham and later by Caroline Dinenage, MP for Gosport, the Education Secretary spoke with students, staff and employers, expressing how impressed he was with the College’s new learning environments.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said, “It was brilliant to see the amazing work that has gone into the new high-tech facilities at Fareham College, which will mean young people starting our new high-quality T Levels will have access to state-of-the-art equipment.
“In collaboration with leading businesses, these new qualifications have been developed to make sure they give businesses the skilled workforce they need for the future and young people the knowledge and experience they need to thrive.
“It was fantastic to meet some of the trail blazing students starting their T Levels and to see first-hand their enthusiasm for the exciting journey they have ahead.”
Fareham College Principal and Chief Executive, Andrew Kaye said, “We were absolutely delighted to welcome the Right Honourable Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education, to the College to launch our new T Level qualifications and facilities. Our first T Levels are in Digital Production, Design and Development and Early Education and Childcare with our new students starting their courses earlier this month.
“We have invested £1million which was match-funded by the Department for Education in new facilities for these brand-new courses. This has enabled the development of a simulated nursery environment for the Education and Childcare T Level route and purchase of new training equipment. In Digital Production, Design and Development, it has created a state-of-the-art networking suite, a new IT suite with high-end gaming PCs and a project area with an impressive nine screen video wall.
“The first students on these new qualifications are thrilled to be learning in such outstanding spaces. They all have their industry placements lined up and are looking forward to enhancing their classroom learning with real world work experience.”
Digital Production, Design and Development T Level student Kian Tomkins said, “I am so excited to be studying the new T Level in Digital Production, Design and Development. I want to work in bionic limb replacement in the future and this course will really prepare me well for my future career. The new Digital T Level facilities at the College are absolutely fantastic and the content is very relevant.”
Education and Childcare T Level student Millie Hickley said “I am really enjoying studying the new T Level in Education and Childcare. We have already covered so much on this course and the content is really interesting. I am looking forward to starting my industry placement at a primary school and I hope to become a primary school teacher in the future. This course will help me to achieve my goal, as it is widely recognised by employers and universities.”
Fareham College’s Civil Engineering Training Centre (CETC) located adjacent to the College’s Centre of Excellence for Engineering, Manufacturing and Advanced Skills Training, works closely with employers to ensure that apprentices on the 18-month Apprenticeship are work-ready when they complete the 20 week course at the Centre, before going out onsite.
With the capital investment from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) CETC at Fareham College has established itself as an exemplar for Civil Engineering training. Winner of the Association of Colleges’ City and Guilds Beacon Award for Engagement with Employers, the training programme is designed to equip civil engineers with the skills employers need to fulfil regional infrastructure and housebuilding demand.
James Tunney, civil engineering and groundworks apprentice at Mildren Construction said, “If you want to work in Civil Engineering, I would highly, highly recommend Fareham College’s CETC. It really prepares you for what it is like working for an employer and you learn all of the skills you need to work onsite.”
Mark Wells, CEO at Blanchard Wells said, “Our collaboration with Fareham College and the Solent LEP has been very productive and the completion of the new CETC facility will give us even greater leverage to expand our offering and continue to pioneer high-quality training in a live environment to take the industry forward.”