Excitement at new technical qualifications to upskill Peterborough youngsters

New technical qualifications for young people in Peterborough are expected to help plug the city’s skills gap.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 6:49 am

City College Peterborough has been given the go ahead by the Government to begin delivering T Levels from 2023.

T Levels are an alternative to A Levels, apprenticeships and other 16 to 19 courses.

Equivalent to three A Levels, a T Level focuses on vocational skills and can help students into higher study, apprenticeships or skilled employment.

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In 2023, five different T Levels will begin in Peterborough, both at a new cultural and library hub in Bridge Street called The Vine and the college’s Brook Street campus which will be upgraded to deliver the courses.

The two-year T Levels will be delivered in: business and administration; catering and hospitality; digital; education and childcare and health and science.

Tasha Dalton-Winterton, college vice president for young people, believes the new T Levels will help plug the drain of the city’s young talent to other cities, with the courses also tieing into those being offered by the new university ARU Peterborough.

She said: “We’re more than delighted. As an education provider, being involved in any new training programme is exciting, but I don’t think this is about the college, it’s about the young people of Peterborough and giving them another pathway that they can get on board and take ownership of their education.

Plans for The Vine in Bridge Street

“What’s so great about T Levels is that it’s a viable option. It’s the equivalent of three A Levels.

“And whether you want to go onto higher education, or moving onto a higher level apprenticeship or entering employment as a skilled employee, this one technical pathway will allow individuals to do that, and I think that’s something that’s been missing for a very long time.

“In Peterborough, we have a lot of young people who are very gifted and very talented who go off to university and we never see them again.

“So the T Level pathway, in conjunction with the new university, gives us an opportunity to create a talent pipeline. For City College Peterborough to be part of that talent pipeline and help make that happen - that’s exciting.

City College Peterborough

“As educators we want to create opportunities for young people.”

The students will spend 80 per cent of their course in the classroom, learning the skills that employers need. The other 20 per cent is a meaningful industry placement where they put the skills into action.

Only education providers rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted can deliver T Levels, with City College Peterborough becoming the first place in Peterborough to offer them.

The Vine, when it opens at the former TK Maxx store, will have vocational skills laboratories, while the college’s Brook Street campus will receive significant investment, including upgrading the kitchens to an industry level standard and pushing forward a health and social care wing.

MP for Peterborough Paul Bristow was delighted by the announcement of the T Levels starting in Peterborough.

He said: “It’s going to be a real avenue for young people in our city to get on and get an excellent education here in Peterborough, and be a pipeline for our own science, technology, engineering and manufacturing specialised university.”