Middlesbrough College has chosen AV Dawson as a partner to deliver the first trials of the new industry-backed T level qualifications for the region.
AV Dawson has welcomed Middlesbrough College engineering student, Joshua Richards, to join its engineering team as part of a trials of this revolutionary new initiative.
T levels, a new programme coming in September 2021, were developed to follow on from GCSEs and will be equivalent to 3 A levels. The two-year course has been designed in collaboration with businesses and employers to make sure the course meets the need of industry and prepares students for the world of work and will become one of the main choices for students after GCSEs.
Middlesbrough College is the only general further education college in the Tees Valley that has been selected by the Department of Education to deliver the newly developed T Levels from September 2021. The college, working in partnership with AV Dawson, hopes that the programme will provide the knowledge and experience needed to open the door into skilled employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship.
The T level program offers a mix of on-the-job training, along with classroom learning. Joshua, has recently started his placement with AV Dawson and will spend two days a week, 45 days in total, working in its engineering department, shadowing its onsite electrician.
Mark Wells, AV Dawson, head of engineering, commented: “It is imperative that we put increased focus on narrowing the skills gap in the region, especially with potential for further ‘skills drain’ in the area. It is fantastic that Middlesbrough College has been chosen to deliver the T level programme, this will help showcase the vast array of opportunities currently available to students in the area. The T-level programme gives students real world, hands on experience, it is a vital introduction to the working environment, that goes one step further than the traditional work experience placement.
“Josh will gain real insight into how the engineering department in AV Dawson works, he will be actively involved in our engineering projects and not just watching from the sidelines. These types of experiences are invaluable to students.”
Louise Croce, AV Dawson, head of HR added: “As a family business with 95% of our workforce coming from Tees Valley, it is important that we actively work with local education centres to promote the opportunities on Teesside. Students taking part in the T level programme, could potentially be the next generation of our workforce.
Katherine Hawking, industry placement manager at Middlesbrough College, explained: “It’s fantastic to work with employers like AV Dawson who can give students the opportunity to put into practice what they are learning in the classroom. T levels address the pain points that employers report as a barrier to recruiting young people such as a lack of hands on experience, and as the only college in the Tees Valley to deliver T levels from 2021, we are excited to help bridge that skills gap.”