The government is investing millions so that young people studying new T Level qualifications have access to high quality buildings and facilities. This will help them gain the skills they need to secure rewarding careers.
What are T Levels?
T Levels are technical courses – equivalent to three A Levels – that combine study with a substantial industry placement so that students gain the skills and experience they need to progress into work, further study or an apprenticeship.
T Levels equip young people with the skills and knowledge that will prepare them for the workplace, with content designed with over 250 employers including Fujitsu and Amazon.
Courses are available at further education providers across England in subjects including healthcare, education, digital skills and construction.
New courses, including Engineering and Manufacturing, Finance, Creative & Design and Legal will be introduced from 2022 and 2023. Plans for a new Marketing T Level to be introduced from 2025 are also being progressed, aiming to give young people the chance to build skills in an exciting and booming sector.
How we are supporting T Level students to learn in world-class facilities
To date, around £250 million has been made available through the T Level Capital Fund to support colleges, schools and other further education providers across England to deliver T Levels in 2020, 2021 and 2022. The money has been used to refurbish or build brand new buildings and invest in industry standard-equipment, which is vital for the practical elements of many courses.
Thousands of T Level students are already benefiting from this investment, including those studying at City of Sunderland College. The college now has permanent, dedicated learning spaces for their T Levels students including a 360-degree immersive space recently awarded AV Education project of the year.
What are people saying about how the T Level capital fund has benefitted them?
Judith Quinn, Vice Principal for Curriculum and Achievement at Sunderland College, said:
At Sunderland College and Education Partnership North East we are absolutely delighted with our Innovation Space and Immersive Space that opened earlier in the 2021-22 academic year after we gained funding through the T Level Capital Fund.
Our T Levels students and staff have really embraced the Innovation and Immersive Space which has inspired them to think about how they can integrate the latest, cutting-edge technology to enhance their teaching and learning and student experience.
The Spaces have also allowed for collaborative real-world working and has really given added value to our careers-focused curriculum, so students are ready for their next steps in their education, in their careers and life in general.
Students at LTE Manchester College in the North West has seen similar benefits. As well as refurbishing existing facilities to create an industry-standard hospital, care and nursery environment for the Education & Childcare and Health & Science students, they have also built a new mezzanine level teaching space for construction pupils already based in their Construction Excellence Centre.
Rachel Curry, Deputy Principal at The Manchester College, commented:
The T Level capital investment has ensured that our students have access to equipment that mirrors the standards achieved in industry every single day. The enhanced facilities and incredible capital equipment, scoped with employers, allows students to develop the technical skills they need to be occupationally competent, and develop confidence, prior to starting their extended industry placements, ready to hit the ground running and have the best possible learning experience when they are working with employers.
The funding we have received has enabled us to create a state-of-the-art mock hospital ward including industry standard hospital beds, blood pressure monitors and SimMan 3G Plus simulation manakins, with associated software, which provide students with a ‘virtual’ patient to practice applied nursing skills, when studying their Health and Social Care T Level. In addition, we have been able to design and purpose build accommodation for our T Level Construction students and invest in equipment such as the cutting-edge BIM suites for learning the very latest design techniques and an immersive tech lab where students will be able to use virtual reality to learn skills such as welding.
Ultimately, this investment in T Levels ensures we are able to equip our students with all the skills they need to become the next generation of industry excellence and go on to have a successful and rewarding career, whilst meeting the skills needs of Manchester and the City region.
How we are supporting even more students to study in high quality buildings
An additional £150 million from the fund is being provided to support further education providers to refurbish or upgrade their buildings and invest in equipment in readiness to deliver T Level courses from September 2023. This brings the total invested through the T Level Capital Fund to over £400 million.
Providers receiving funding in the latest round include Bridgwater and Taunton college in Somerset which has been awarded funding to support its T Level courses in Agriculture, Environmental & Animal Care, Creative & Design, Engineering & Manufacturing and Hair, Beauty & Aesthetics.
Hartlepool College in the North East of England has also received funding to refurbish its facilities for courses in Engineering & Manufacturing. The full list of further education providers to benefit from this latest investment can be found here: T Levels capital fund - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).