T Levels are a two year qualification for 16-19 year olds designed in collaboration with employers. Each T Level is equivalent to 3 A Levels, with the aim to support the young person to develop their skills, knowledge and to thrive in the workplace.
Students choose different T Level specialisms, and develop the key skills required in industry. T Levels offer a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on the job experience’ through an Industry Placement (IP).
You can find out more regarding T-Levels by following this link (www.tlevelinfo.org.uk) or by watching the video to the right.
Embrace the legacy of our well-established Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction T-Level course or seize the chance to be at the forefront of our brand-new and highly sought-after Digital Support Services T-Level course.
New to the UTC
As you know, a T-Level is a L3 qualification, which is the size of 3 A-Levels. It combines the best of classroom learning with real life industry experience and provides the perfect platform for progression to university or Higher Apprenticeships.
At Thomas Telford UTC we have always enjoyed close working relationships with employers in the sector, who support our curriculum design and delivery, lead Employer Set projects and provide mentoring and Work Experience opportunities. In fact, putting the events of 2020 to one side, we enjoy 5x the rate of students leaving sixth form and beginning a Higher Apprenticeship leading to their degree.
Perhaps uniquely, at Thomas Telford UTC we are working with our Employer Partners to confirm offers of Industry Placements now. We will only recruit students on to the T-Level programme where the Industry Placement is secure.
Our T-Level programme will consist of 3 days a week classroom-based learning. Much of this learning will be through contextualised projects based on real projects, with theory lectures in specific areas of content to compliment your learning. In the remaining 2 days a week, students will enjoy a mixture of Industry Placement with our Employer partners and self-organised learning.
In total, over the 2-year programme, students will spend some 350 hours working with their Employer, with the placements beginning midway through year 1, a block placement of 4 weeks early in year 2 and then continued placement days (1 or 2 days per week) as required to ensure the 350 hours are completed as a minimum.
We will work directly with employers to arrange placements and advertise these with an indication of the role. For example, working with an infrastructure company such as Midland Metro Alliance, or a housebuilder such as Lovell. We will then work with the employer to find the ‘right’ student. We are always happy to work with new employers, please see the section for employers below.
Placements will broadly be around the West Midlands area, taking advantage of the excellent public transport links available. Students will be given the opportunity to acquire their Green CSCS card at the start of their T-Level, and will be provided as needed with heavily subsidised Personal Protective Clothing. Industry Placements are more than ‘Work Experience’ as there is time for you to develop skills, your place within a team and your understanding of real work – making real contributions to live projects.
We are extremely proud of our specialist team. First and foremost, we have excellent classroom practitioners with significant experience working in secondary education, delivering impressive outcomes for Level 3 learners following our BTEC Nationals qualifications in construction through stretch and challenge. In addition, our staff all have ties and experience within the construction sector; Of our existing staff, 3 have backgrounds in architecture, 1 in Construction Management and 1 in Civil Engineering and Environmental Control.
Of course, the sector continually evolves and changes and this is where we benefit from our close association with the University of Wolverhampton School of Architecture and Built Environment, sharing our campus makes it easy for our staff to engage in high quality professional development. To further strengthen this, our Employer partners provide unprecedented levels of support for both staff and students in the design and delivery of our specialist curriculum.
We talked about this with Employers at length. It is important to recognise that a T-Level is a full-time educational commitment. We do not expect employers to offer payment for placements, although we are happy for employers to negotiate additional time, perhaps in school holidays with students, where they may choose to. Employers may also support travel costs incurred getting to placements – we do not want travel costs to be a barrier.
T-Levels are a demanding and rewarding study programme and will be the new ‘gold standard’ of technical education. A requirement of the T-Level award is that students complete 2 A level style terminal exams and 2 Employer Set extended projects (in examination conditions). Alongside this, students need to have completed a minimum of 350 hours Industry Placement and have achieved grade 4 or above in English and Maths.
At Thomas Telford we are highly focussed on successful outcomes. Therefore, our entry requirements are:
We realise that there are always students where things do not go as planned or expected. We are delighted to be offering a T-Level Transition Year for students who need to strengthen their success. The year acts as a foundation year, allowing the chance to resit English, maths and science as necessary; undertake an additional Core Maths (Functional Skills) qualification at Level 3; Work alongside Level 3 learners completing work towards their BTEC National – allowing the development of study skills and industry understanding; and engage with Work Experience opportunities and Employer Set projects to develop the ‘employability skills’ that our employers wish to see.
At the end of the transition year, students are then able to: progress to their T-Level studies, continue for a remaining year completing a BTEC National Foundation Diploma (1.5 A Levels equivalent) alongside any needed GCSE resits or enrol on a two-year programme at the UTC to complete A-Levels or BTEC National qualifications.
Alternatively, students can look at enrolment on the variety of qualifications we offer in our sixth form.
Thomas Telford UTC enjoy the benefits of working proactively with a wide range of successful employers form the sector. We work hard to ensure our partners enjoy an organised and successful involvement with us and we have realistic expectations of how employers can offer support. We meet employer partners 6 times per year, which is a great networking opportunity and generally use a ‘many hands make light work’ approach.
We have a detailed ‘Work Related Learning’ programme that is produced in advance of each year, allowing employers to spot their opportunities to work with us. We recognise employer contributions through out social media, on resources and with students and parents.
We are always keen to hear from employers who may be interested in this route, to support their talent pipeline. Industry Placements are designed to be manageable for employers. Staff at the UTC will work closely with you, completing any information records that are needed in advance of placement and supporting with the induction of students. Typically, a student will have a line manager and we request that there is 30 minutes a week allocated to mentoring the student. Beyond this, student the best student placements will consist of work shadowing (meetings, site visits), projects (real or fictional that allow students to develop a particular skill) and contributing to the objectives of the employer.
A placement has been successful when the student is a valued member of the team, able to contribute in their own right. The duration of the placement allows a relationship to fully develop and for the student to develop skills and therefore be productive. During the placement, the UTC will be readily available and, in any case, will make contact at least fortnightly. We will also support with a very simple mid-placement review and final placement review of the student. Employers are not involved with any form of assessment decision.
We have created a PDF booklet for details on how employers can get involved with us. This document details:
Construction Management Trainee
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Building Control Trainee