Voiceover: T Levels are one of the biggest reforms to England's technical education system in a generation. Launched in September 2020, each T Level includes a substantial industry placement, benefiting both the young person and the employer. Employer's across England are gaining early access to new talent entering their sector. Whilst young people are gaining the skills, knowledge and attitude to excel in their careers. (gentle music)
Kathleen Simpson: Nightingale Nursery Sawley we have 13 staff on roll. I have always been involved with industry placements from the very beginning. Most of my staff have come through industry placement. It's important that we have a wide range of talents. I have always felt that it's important for me to support young people in their training.
Kerry Regan: We work with different learning providers, and if they find a candidate sort of they'll just pop their CV through the post, or they've emailed. Then we would invite them in for an interview. Ask them to come in and spend some time with us before they're actually offered the job as well just so that they get to know us and we get to know them. To make the placement meaningful for both parties, we mould them, so we make them the best they can be because obviously our standards are up here, and we need to get their standards up here. And so we train them, and they're doing everything. We throw them in at the deep end, we don't mollycoddle them. They are here to do the job of a nursery nurse.
Tia Young: So the work I do as a placement student, is really similar to the qualified. The only thing that I'd say is a bit different is obviously having time out to do some coursework or see my assessor when she comes.
Kerry: To make sure the students get the most out of their experience, when they first start, I will do appraisals. So I will do their first week one, see how they've got on, give them some feedback and vice versa. It's all about listening to them, and them listening to you as well. It works both ways.
Alice Waddell: My placement helps settled me by giving me an induction. They introduced me to the main members of staff like the manager, the person who runs the nursery, the room leader. They introduced me to the children, made me feel comfortable.
Tia: The training I've had since being at Nightingale, I've had paediatric first-aid, level two training for childcare and then the continued support for my level three childcare.
Emma Welburn: When I'm working in a room with a student, I support them to plan an activity that they need to do for their course, and then I will get them to carry out independently but be there by their side if help is needed.
Alice: I've never done it before, so before I did it, I was really like, nervous, because I didn't know what to expect. But now I'm actually here, and I'm meeting new people and I'm having to like, be forced to talk to parents and stuff like that. It's really made me feel a lot better. But I think there's still a long way to go. (laughs)
Kathleen: If you have a variety of placement students, they bring different things to the table, which enhance our nursery. They enhance our children's learning, they enhance the children's experience of nursery.
Kerry: Our organisation benefits from having placement students because they are coming in with a blank sheet and we teach them, they learn everything that we are doing to our high standard.
Tia: The best bit about the placement is the bond that I've got with the children. But I've also made like a lot of friends along the way staff-wise as well.
Alice: Sitting in a classroom just doesn't do it. Like you've got to get out there and do things like hands-on, because I don't understand it otherwise. Like I'm a really hands-on person.
Kerry: The benefit of having students in the industry is I'm a perfect example to be fair, I started at 16 and I did my placement here, and by the time I was 19, I was a deputy manager. The students that have come through, some have gone on to go and doing midwifery, some have become nurses.
Alice: I hope for my future that I can own my own nursery, and run it in my own ways. Being at this placement has given me the opportunity to see some things that I could take forward with me into my future. So I'm really excited for what my next placement will teach me.
Kathleen: So it's vitally important for us to have placements so we can bring them in, bring them on, nurture them, help them with their training and hopefully retain them at the end of their qualification.
The industry has a strong track record of offering work placements that benefit both the employing organisation and individual students.
There is now an opportunity to build upon this and further develop and support industry placements to ensure we are developing the workforce we need for the future.