Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills Gillian Keegan MP was welcomed to Chichester College to meet some of the first T Level students in the country.
The minister spent time meeting students on both the Construction and Digital T Levels, as well as their lecturers during a visit last week (Thursday 1 October).
She donned a virtual reality headset and took part in a VR sporting activity, developed by the students and staff during the first couple of weeks of their course.
She also joined construction students during an outdoor surveying session, using high tech digital equipment provided by Leica Geosystems and SCCS.
Gillian Keegan Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills said: “It was fantastic to visit my local college, Chichester College, and to meet some of the trail blazing students studying our pioneering new T Levels. It was great to hear their enthusiasm and excitement for where the new qualifications will take them.
“T Levels are game-changing, they’ve been created in collaboration with over 250 leading employers, so students develop the skills they need to succeed in their future careers, and businesses get the talented workforce they need to thrive.
“The technology the students are learning to use, just two weeks in, is brilliant to see and shows why these new qualifications really are the gold-standard in technical education.”
Shelagh Legrave OBE, Chief Executive of the Chichester College Group, added: “This was an important opportunity for us to demonstrate to the Minister how our students are engaging with these innovative new qualifications.
“It is with a great sense of pride that we are among the first colleges in the country to be delivering T Levels, and one of the only colleges in our local area to delivering all three of the first pathways – construction, digital and education & childcare.
“T Levels offer a high quality technical route into university, high level apprenticeships or employment.”
T Levels see students spending around 80% of their time at college and 20% on an industry placement – that’s around 45 days – enabling them to gain a valuable balance of practical experience alongside their studies.
Liam, who is among the first Construction T Levels students at Chichester College (and the country), praised the industry-standard equipment that they are already learning with. He said: “It’s good because we are already using equipment like the quickset level and staff for surveying.”
Fellow student Kal, added: “It’s good that this course is setting me up with a broad range of options for careers in the industry.”
T Levels are currently being delivered at two of CCG colleges – Chichester and Crawley – and the courses have attracted higher student numbers than initially hoped for.
Shelagh said: “It has been fantastic to see how young people in our local areas have embraced the introduction of T Levels.
“It demonstrates the awareness they have and the importance they place on ensuring they are gaining the skills and industry experience they will need to excel in their chosen industries.
“We will be introducing additional pathways in September 2021, and this is a really encouraging start.”