• Schools, colleges and employers in the region step up their commitment to T Levels
  • Growing firms and local employers like the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust back T Levels
  • Furness College in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria is hosting a virtual T Levels Information Event on Thursday 25th March to support students in making future choices during lockdown

Young people in Cumbria are being encouraged to consider new T Level qualifications – high-quality technical alternatives equivalent to three A Levels, which will be available to study in Cumbria from September 2021. T Level courses will be available to students across five subject areas: Digital, Design & Development, Education & Childcare, Health, Science and Construction.

The pioneering new qualifications have been designed in collaboration with leading employers so they will provide the skills that businesses across the region need and reflect some of the top current growth areas in Cumbria. Science and Technology is one of the region’s biggest job growth areas with the Health & Social Care (3) and Education (5) being two of the region’s largest employment sectors.

T Levels are unique as they combine classroom study with a substantial industry placement so young people gain valuable work experience in their chosen sector. 15.9% or 30,000 people in Cumbria are currently employed in the Health and Social Care sector.

The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust is one of the leading local employers in the sector. It currently employs 8,500 people and is looking to offer more than one hundred placements to local T Level students across multiple disciplines. Many other local businesses are also embracing T Levels as a great way to bring in new ideas and the latest skills and as a new way to find, nurture and secure young talent.

Industry placements are core to the make-up of T Levels and see students spending an extended period (at least 45 days) in a work environment gaining hands-on experience and learning vital technical skills.

After the coronavirus outbreak, T Levels will play a key part in rebuilding the economy in Cumbria and beyond, boosting access to high-quality technical education for thousands of young people. Successfully completing a T Level will give young people the option to progress to the next level, whether that is going on to further study, including at university, or getting a job or an apprenticeship in one of these growing sectors.


Ray Olive, Assistant Director of People and Organisational Development at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, has said: “In chairing the employer panel and helping to design one of the Engineering & Manufacturing T Levels, I’ve seen first-hand the amount of thought and planning that went into designing these courses to make sure students get the skills and experience that businesses need, and enable them to progress quickly in their careers.

Running a Trust of this size requires dedicated work across multiple disciplines – nothing has spotlighted that more than the work to tackle the greatest health challenge of our time – COVID-19. Now, more than ever and post-pandemic we need enthusiastic and talented young people coming into the profession. And I can’t think of a better source of young, skilled and ambitious candidates than those that will be taking T Levels. I hope to welcome students from a range of T Level courses to help continue the brilliant work the Trust has been doing in such strange and challenging times.”

From September, Furness College will be one of three colleges in the region offering the new T Level qualifications. Nearly 80 places are available across four T Level subjects at the college this year and there has been strong interest, particularly in the health and education T Levels.

Commenting on T Levels, Sue Hannan, Assistant Principal for Curriculum at Furness College, said: “We are excited to be delivering T Levels from September 2021, having been recognised for the quality of our technical qualifications and our strong links to employers. T Levels are the next step up for 16-19-year-old students who know which direction they want to pursue for a career. Combining 20% industry placement with 80% in college learning helps students to progress into skilled employment, University and higher-level study or apprenticeships. This innovative qualification is the biggest investment in technical education in decades and is an important step towards futureproofing the Cumbrian economy by helping create the higher-level technical skills needed to grow industry, with T Levels being much more focused on placements and technical understanding.”

Furness College will be hosting a virtual T Levels Information Event, on Thursday 25th March to support students in making future choices during lockdown. This event will take place online where students and parents will find out from the college team more about T Levels starting at Furness College in September 2021 in a live video webinar. You can register for this event here: www.furness.ac.uk


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