From education to employment

Derby College Agrees New Tech Partnership To Support T Level Students

Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, Gillian Keegan
@derbycollege (DCG) has announced a new partnership with Access ConQuest, suppliers of construction software used by estimators, quantity surveyors and finance teams, to help better prepare students undertaking T Level qualifications for the world of work.

The software will be used by students on a daily basis to help prepare them for future roles and gain a better understanding of the systems currently used by industry professionals.  

Launched in September 2020, T Levels are new study programmes which follow GCSEs and are equivalent to three A levels. These two-year study programmes involve 80 per cent time spent in college and 20 per cent on an industrial placement. Developed in collaboration with employers, the goal is to ensure that the content prepares students for work, further training or study as well as meeting the needs of the industry.

The first FE college in the East Midlands to offer this new ‘gold standard’ technical qualification, DCG will be partnering with a number of firms, including Access ConQuest, to give students undertaking a T Level in Construction, Design, Surveying and Planning the edge when looking for their first professional role.

Rebecca Hartshorn is a founding member of DCG’s Professional Construction Employment and Skills Board (ESB) – which brings together employers to co-design and co-deliver the curriculum – including the new T Level programme – and is Strategic Framework Lead at B+K Building Services (BKBS), a division of Derbyshire-based Bowmer + Kirkland.

Commenting on the new partnership, Rebecca said:

“Digital capabilities and a working knowledge of the software that’s used within the industry are both vital skills that will give T Level students a head start in their career.”

Access ConQuest software is widely used across the industry, particularly when calculating estimates, take-offs and measurements and bills, making it an important aspect of estimating and commercial roles.

Rebecca continued:

“As a company, we would certainly look favourably on a young person who has a working knowledge of this software and other digital tools, as we know they’ll be able to hit the ground running on key tasks.”

Derby College’s T Levels launch was marked by a visit from the Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, Gillian Keegan. The Minister met the first students enrolled on the construction, design, surveying and planning T Level programme and joined an ice-breaker which was led virtually by representatives from Bowmer + Kirkland.

Commenting on her visit, the Minister said:

“Derby College is one of the pioneers of the T Level programme and I’m delighted to see the investment that has been made in digital facilities that will be crucial in providing rigorous and high quality study programmes that will be recognised as the gold standard in technical education.”

Andy Day, Estimating, Take Off & Surveying Software Consultant at Access ConQuest said:

“We’re really pleased to have partnered with Derby College Group and see a number of great benefits to the T Level qualifications. It’s vitally important that students leave education not only with a qualification, but practical skills and experience that can be applied to future roles.

“Our ConQuest software is used widely by a range of firms specialising in fit outs and refurbishments, building, civil engineering, quantity surveying, as well as subcontractors – so whatever career path these students decide upon, they’ll be well prepared for the tasks ahead of them.”

DCG works in partnership with more than 3,000 employers in a number of ways from co-designing and co-delivering the college curriculum to delivering a wide range of apprenticeships.

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