From education to employment

Barnsley College hosts T Level event

Barnsley College welcomed Alex Burghart MP as it hosted the annual Building the Future with T Levels event.

The event, which saw The Education Funding and Skills Agency speak about embracing new ways of working and looking to a new future post-pandemic, was attended by nationwide businesses, representatives from local colleges and MP Alex Burghart, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Education. The aim of the event was to celebrate the achievements of ambassadors, set out the network’s future direction and vision, and spotlight the new governance structure including the appointment of a new Chair and two Vice Chairs to the T Levels Ambassadors Network.

T Levels are new technical qualifications equivalent to three A Levels studied in the classroom and the workplace. They are designed in conjunction with employers for young people who prefer a more technical education when they come to College, rather than following a purely academic pathway, or a work-based apprenticeship.

The day began with T Levels Ambassadors Network Chair and Vice Chair Ray Olive, Danny Brett and Dawn Helsby, speaking about the new vision for T Levels. Barnsley College representatives Gavin Batty, Vice Principal of Technical and Professional Education, and Neil Johnson, Assistant Principal of Class Based Learning,also spoke about the College’s T Level story as it was the first South Yorkshire college to offer the new T Level qualifications from September 2020. The event was used to celebrate and share the best practice and experiences that providers had encountered on their respective T Level journeys since the qualifications began in 2020.

Neil Johnson said: “As a College it was a great honour to be asked to host the event. Even more so being able to present, and along with our fantastic student ambassadors, share our T Level journey to date.

“The opportunity to engage and network with other providers and employers can only lead to further enhance the tremendous progress and experience that our T Level learners will continue to receive.”

Alex Burghart MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Minister, provided closing speeches at the event, thanking the providers for their work to date and recognising the progress that has been made in delivering T Levels.

Guests were also accompanied by T Level tutors and students on a tour of the SciTech Digital Innovation Hub to see the new government funded, industry-standard digital facilities. Guests had the opportunity to speak with TLevel Digital Production, Design and Development students Harrison Baxter and Joseph Foster, about their experiences with T Levels and their education at Barnsley College.

Joseph Foster said: “The best part of studying a T Level is the fact that it is created in conjunction with employers, it gives you more skills and you are able to learn more about how the workplace actually is. It’s valuable information because if I want to go onto Higher Education, or if I want to go onto a work placement, I’ve got more knowledge because I have worked with employers.”

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