Following the announcement that Strode College will be introducing T Levels in Digital and Education and Childcare from September 2020, the college has been holding ‘Employer Ready’ events.
Local employers from the IT, business and engineering industries have been invited to college to find out about the value of work placements for students.
The first of two events was held for students currently studying vocational courses in digital and IT. Six employers, including Kineo, UK Renal Registry, FollowApp Care, Callmy, Helastel and Content Square.
For the second ‘Employer Ready’ event, 14 local employers from both the business and engineering industries were invited, with a view to offer T Level qualifications in these areas in the future.
Employers who attended included BAE Systems, Celsa Steel Services, Clarks, Bevan Financial Management, Airbus, Indigo Herbs, Boeing, CDS Defence and Security, Leonardo Helicopters, BAMM NUTTALL, Oxford Instruments, Resolution Interiors, Milsted Langdon and Rising Sun Careers Consultancy.
The events gave students the chance to meet a range of employers industry and gain expert opinion on how they could gain the necessary skills to get on the first step on a career ladder while still at college.
From the employer’s point of view, the events provided them with the opportunity to seek out potential students who would be ideal for future opportunities, such as work shadowing, work experience, work placement, internship, apprenticeship or even a full-time paid job.
Jo Trendall, from Working Knowledge which is helping to co-ordinate the events, said: “The idea is to give students real insight into the world of work and specifically what will be required of them when they leave college and enter the workplace for the first time.
“Employers bring a dose of reality since, as teachers, we cannot know what actually happens in the industry on a day-to-day basis! With employers’ support, our aim is to provide a steady stream of work-ready, eager, confident, creative and ambitious new young employees.”
Following on from these events, students currently studying at Strode, who are considered to be ‘work ready’ and with the right aptitude to complete up to a 45-day placement will be selected to test out the pilot T Level programme. This year, the college has been given 86 places to fill.
The college’s Katy Quinn said: “We are making steady progress with finding industrial placements using the capacity development fund and made the decision to focus our energy on the digital and education industries in preparation for 2020.
“As a college in rural Somerset, the main challenge is the distance our students must travel to access the industry placements, but they see the fantastic opportunities these placements will provide.”