January 20, 2021 @ 11:47 by Richard Dawson
Middlesbrough College has been chosen by the Government to be among the first to deliver a full range of the pioneering new technical qualifications, T Levels.
The college was confirmed as one of a handful of establishments across the country to provide the new two-year courses developed to help students meet the needs of employers.
T Levels will include an industrial placement of 45–60 days plus an exam assessment.
Confirmation comes after a thorough bidding process, and means the multi-million-pound plans for a new Digital Centre, Construction Skills Centre, and extension of the college’s A Level catering facilities will be accelerated.
The new plans will house nearly 2,000 sq. metres of learning space which will be fitted with specialist computing equipment.
Zoe Lewis, principal and chief executive of Middlesbrough College, said: “For several months now we’ve successfully trialled T Levels, working closely with employers across Teesside to hone courses to the exact needs of businesses.
“With confirmation of our bid it means we’re ready to hit the ground running with cutting edge T Level courses in the digital and construction skills that are underpinning the recovery and growth of our area.
“T Levels are high-quality, exciting routes into employment, apprenticeships, or further study that give learners the technical skills most in demand in the jobs market.
“Whilst COVID has created an unsettling time, this progress will mean students can look forward to fantastic new opportunities and a new route to enhancing their career prospects.”
The T Levels will link to Middlesbrough College’s wider course offering, allowing students to progress straight onto foundation degree and degree level.
A full programme of courses will launch in September as work on the new facilities is completed.
The new Digital Centre will give students the opportunity to work in industry-leading programming suites, cyber labs, special effects rooms, games design suites, video editing suites, and a dedicated film and television studio.
Meanwhile, the Construction Skills Workshop will equip students for the workplace by giving them hands-on experience with the tools and equipment they’ll need in the wider world.
The college is currently working with a range of construction firms to make sure courses are designed with the workplace in mind, equipping students with the right skills that are already in high demand on Teesside due to the major development projects taking place.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “There are many avenues to a high-quality, rewarding career, it’s not just about going to university to get a degree.
“T levels are a great example of that, and they will help young people from across Teesside, Darlington, and Hartlepool gain the skills, along with practical experience, they’ll need to take advantage of the opportunities and jobs we’re creating, not just at Teesworks but across the region.
“I’m delighted Middlesbrough College has been chosen to deliver these courses, which will set up our students with the expertise they need to succeed and help develop the skills our brilliant businesses are crying out for.”