EMPLOYERS in York are needed to lend their weight to new qualifications which will open the doors to skilled work.

York College is one of the first to offer T Levels from 2020 and is looking for companies to offer work placements.

The new technical qualifications form part of the Government’s solution to the skills shortage and are equivalent to three A Levels. From next September, York College will offer T Levels in construction, digital technologies and childcare/early years education, with healthcare in 2021.

They combine classroom theory, practical learning and an industry placement of at least 315 hours, which can be focused around a project or tasks associated with the sector.

Lee Probert, York College chief executive and principal, said: “T Levels are new qualifications which ensure that students leave college with sound technical knowledge and skills as well as a meaningful experience of the workplace. The content of these new qualifications has been written by industry for industry. We look forward to forging local partnerships with employers where our students can benefit from high-quality work placements and progress into the skilled roles the local economy is generating.”

T Levels aim to prepare students to progress into a skilled job, or they may choose to take further technical training such as a higher apprenticeship course, or progress to a degree qualification.

Kundai Moyo, formerly of Woldgate School, Pocklington, is studying Engineering Multiskill Diploma Level 3 and has taken up a work placement at 10 Squared Ltd as it uses 3D CAD, which is one of the units on her course.

She said: “It was a good opportunity for me to acquire more knowledge about the designing, making and assembling of products using 3D CAD and CNC machines. I was only familiar with the CAD software when I first started, and I learnt more about how that works. I also tried using machines like the laser cutter, hydraulic press and welding machines. All of this helped to improve my knowledge and practical skills and I feel better informed about what it is like working in industry. I want to take on aerospace engineering as my career and this placement gave me a lot to think about in terms of a back-up plan, just in case I fail to get into aerospace. I think the main benefit of work placements is getting real-life experience of how things are in the work place.”

Sarah Pearson, office manager at 10 Squared, said: “We are a technology-based engineering company, and whilst technology is fast moving and ever changing, at 10 Squared it also incorporates time-tested working practices within the field of engineering. We can offer students a range of skills, new and old, covering many different disciplines. It is great to pass these skills onto students who will one day become our next generation of workers and hopefully keep our industry alive.”

Employers can find out about T Level placements from York College on 01904 770830 or email placements@yorkcollege.ac.uk.