From education to employment

Minister Robert Halfon visits Oldham College ahead of #TLevelThursday

ALUN Francis, Interim Chair of the Social Mobility Commission, hosted a visit from the Minister of State for Education to showcase Oldham College’s facilities, partnerships and success stories ahead of the first-ever ‘T Level Thursday’

This new annual event today (February 9) aims to raise awareness of T Levels as a high-quality and world class qualification which is also helping employers to connect with the workforce of the future.

The Minister’s visit was part of National Apprenticeship Week and enabled him to see Oldham College’s state-of-the-art training facilities and talk with staff, students and local employers about these new qualifications – and how skills, education and training can support people into secure, sustainable and well-paid employment.

Alun Francis, Oldham College Principal and Interim Chair of the Social Mobility Commission, showed him around the new Construction Centre, Health & Life Sciences Centre, and Digital & Creative Centre where T Levels are now taught.

They discussed how to raise awareness among more young people and families about the benefits of T Levels, apprenticeships and Further Education: including the future earnings potential of students with different qualifications, and the impact of these on social mobility.

The Minster was impressed by the vocational facilities for T Levels which include a mock hospital ward and clinical simulation suite, digital suites, plus plumbing and electrical workshops: all fitted out with cutting edge technology.

Staff spoke about the benefits of T Levels – including the combination of hands-on work placements and college-based learning – and the Minister also heard from local employers about how these connect them with local talent and open doors to new career opportunities for people from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

The Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education, said: ‘’I’m thrilled to be celebrating the first T Level Thursday as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2023.”

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of this prestigious qualification valued by students, FE providers and employers.

“T Levels enable students to go on to an apprenticeship, university or straight into work, and there is a range of subjects available, including digital skills, engineering and manufacturing, business administration, health and science.

“I would encourage all students to consider T Levels after GCSEs because they combine classroom study with in-depth industry placements, and on-the-job experience is key to gaining the skills needed to climb the ladder of opportunity.”

Alun Francis, Oldham College Principal, said: “We were delighted to show the Minister the significant opportunities which the New T Level qualifications are already delivering for local talent, businesses and the economy.”

“T Levels are designed with employers and enable learners to focus on one subject and develop the skills, knowledge and experience needed to be ‘work ready’ for a well-paid career – and the word is really starting to spread.

“Oldham College is best placed to deliver these locally due to our long-standing relationships with hundreds of employers, our excellent new facilities and our time-served staff who can share years of knowledge and industry experience to boost learners’ prospects.”

Oldham College began delivering T Level qualifications in 2021 in Digital, Construction, Health and Social Care and Early Years and is rapidly now expanding that offer to include Business and Administration, Legal, Finance and Accounting, and Performing Arts for September 2023.

Learners and their families can find out more about T Levels at the Oldham College Open Day on Saturday, March 25 (10am-1pm). To pre-register, visit

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