T Level students take their first step onto future career paths
In September 2020, Leeds City College launched its very first T Level courses – which are two-year technical qualifications open to students aged 16-18.
These courses introduced a modern, employment-led approach to learning, which offers students the opportunity to complete around 45 days of industry experience alongside their classroom-based studies.
With one T Level being equivalent to three A Levels, the courses cover a number of subjects and employment sectors, allowing students who know what they want to specialise in access to new skills and opportunities relevant to their chosen career.
We caught up with some of this year’s T Level students, to find out more about why they chose their course, their experience so far and what they hope to do next.
Standing out from the crowd
With more and more technical roles becoming available, many employers today are looking for people with practical experience in their chosen field. Flynn Barnaby, who is currently studying towards his T Level in Digital Production, Design and Development, believes that his course has prepared him for the world of work.
He said, “In our course, often we learn things in a high level of detail, meaning that we get access to more advanced technical knowledge than is available on other Level 3 courses.
“The qualification has a good balance between learning the theory as you would in a traditional course, as well as applying what you’ve learned to better understand its uses.
“As well as this, the work experience that I’ve completed so far has taught me skills such as communication, collaboration and networking, which I believe will greatly increase my success at future interviews and assessment centres.”
Thinking to the future
Alongside their studies, T Level students benefit from having dedicated in-course staff, who help them track their progress and tailor their CVs. They also help prepare students for their placement selection interviews, which are designed to mirror a real-world application process.
Jess Harrison, who is also studying Digital Production, Design and Development, believes that applying for placements in this way will help her in the future.
She said: “My placement officer gave me quite a lot of guidance on where I should apply, based on my individual skills and interests.
“I was given the opportunity to reach out to different companies and find my own placement, and it was great to have some support with my application, which gave me the confidence to find something I was passionate about.”
Despite their courses focusing on industry-based skills, both Flynn and Jess are planning on applying to university courses, and want to set an example to future students who are thinking about taking a T Level.
Jess said, “People think that if you do a T Level you can’t go to university, but that’s not true.
“The skills you learn will allow you to branch out and go where you want to go, whether that’s straight into work or continuing in education.”
Find out more about the T Level courses we offer here.