From education to employment

Barnsley College celebrates one year of T Levels


One year on from launching the new T Level qualifications, Barnsley College (@barnsleycollege) has stepped up its commitment to these new industry-focused courses.

The College currently offers T Levels in Construction; Digital; Education and Childcare; and Health and, from September 2022, students will also be able to choose from even more subjects including Engineering and Manufacturing and Finance and Accounting.

Barnsley College was the first South Yorkshire college to offer the pioneering new qualifications and now has a cohort of students who’ve completed their first year and have progressed onto their second year of study. Both College’s Digital and Education and Childcare groups reported 100% completion in the first year.

Equivalent to three A Levels, T Levels have been designed in collaboration with leading employers to provide the skills that businesses across the region need. The subject areas on offer at Barnsley College also reflect some of the top local business growth areas.

T Levels are unique as they combine classroom study with industry placements so young people gain valuable work experience in their chosen sector. Many local businesses are embracing T Levels as a great way to bring in new ideas, the latest skills and as a new way to find, nurture and secure young talent.

John Lack, Construction T Level student at Barnsley College, said:

“Whilst some of the course is classroom-based I get loads of opportunities to be hands-on which I really enjoy! By studying this T Level I’ve now got the freedom to choose between a higher apprenticeship, university or going into the workplace after completion.”

Brian Cole, Senior Build Manager at Willmott Dixon, manages John as part of his industry placement and added:

“John is a credit to Barnsley College. He is punctual, polite, enthusiastic and a very nice young man. I have enjoyed working with John recently to discuss how he can get the most out of his placement!”

Industry placements, such as those on offer at Willmott Dixon, are core to the make-up of T Levels; students spend an extended period in a work environment to gain hands-on experience and learn vital technical skills.

Speaking at the opening of the College’s new SciTech Digital Innovation Hub, Secretary of State for Education, Nadhim Zahawi MP, said:

“I would like T Levels, the new technical qualifications, to be as famous and as sought-after as A Levels. Students at Barnsley College are already ahead of the pack as they were among the first students in South Yorkshire to study them.

“Barnsley College is an inspirational and wonderful place with a well-deserved Outstanding Ofsted report. One of the things which impressed me most about the College is how they have tailored what they do to match what the community needs and especially what local employers need.”

Neil Johnson, Assistant Principal of Class Based Learning at Barnsley College, added:

“As we celebrate the first year of delivering T Levels, we are proud to have been among the first providers in the country to offer these brilliant new qualifications. It has been fantastic to see how they have been embraced by young people. I know our first year of T Level students speak highly about their courses and we are excited to be introducing new ones from September 2022.”

Related Articles