Apprenticeships and T Levels – busting the myths!

Our Apprenticeships and T Levels HR Forum, in partnership with City College Norwich, was an intimate affair held in their Start Up Lounge. Delegates were treated to an afternoon of learning about Apprenticeships and the incoming T Level qualification by the college’s expert team.

Ruth Royle, Apprenticeship Delivery Manager, was up first discussing how to get the most out of Apprenticeships, she began with an outline of how they’re delivered and what subjects are covered, before moving on to how course funding works for organisations of different sizes and different ages. Ruth highlighted the importance of using the standards outlined in the course specification when recruiting an apprentice, the support you can expect to receive from City College, and pointed delegates in the direction of a number of platforms for advertising apprentice vacancies. She also outlined some of the expectations City College has of employers and the ways they can help support with these, which included having a mentor available for progress review meetings and a detailed action plan outlining work to be completed between visits.

Before delegates were given a brain break, Laura McLean, Director of Strategic Development and Implementation, gave an overview of the incoming T Level qualification. This included information on what they actually are – equivalent to 3 A Levels, developed in collaboration with employers and businesses, and a mix of classroom learning and “on the job” experience in the form of an industry placement of 315 hours. She explained they are part of the reaction to the need for a simplified system of post-16 education that includes more emphasis on technical education. Laura wrapped up the first session by explaining the grading system used for T Levels and the expected timetable for a variety of courses to be released.

After a short break we had the pleasure of Jenny Bach, Industry Placement Lead, presenting to on industry placements. She explained the requirements the college has of employers prior to a student starting with them (including health and safety checks and the provision of a manager or mentor to support the students) to ensure a supportive environment for both the student and the employer. There is no prescribed model for industry placements and Jenny explained this means that the college can be flexible about how they’re structured, although it usually works out to be one day a week with the occasional block week. She showed the group videos of both students and employers talking about how useful they had found them and the positive impact they had on both parties.

The afternoon finished with a short Q&A session and some free networking time which happened, unsurprisingly, around the cookies and hot drinks! Overall it was a really informative afternoon which saw delegates take away some useful information and food for thought around Apprenticeships and T Levels.

If you’re interested in attending our next HR Forum in September, you can find more information here, more details will be released soon!

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