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. Employers 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.
Camilla Hampshire: Welcome to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, or RAMM as more familiarly, known.
Sophie Harbour: We've been involved in the past working with students in lots of different ways. And we were very keen to get involved in technical education. We were really keen to offer experiences to students from all sorts of backgrounds and areas.
The thing that we were really interested with to begin with with industry placements was the length of time, because of this, we were able to develop some projects and let the students work on things that we would not have been able to do otherwise.
Obviously, one of the really important things about the placements is to have the right fit between the right student and the right project. And we were lucky enough to work with Exeter college who are virtually over the road from the museum. And we worked very closely with them to look at the projects that we've got in mind and what sorts of students they had. And we did get a really good match.
So we had two different placements within the museum. Our first worked with our designer, and it was adult design assistant role. And the other project we had was more of a fixed project. So it was working with our digital team on a digital interactive.
Helen Burbage: We obviously wanted to make sure that the student benefits from the placement and also run benefits as an organisation. When Rick and I have taught about it, we've wanted to make sure that the students get to work on a variety of different things. So they understand the breadth of work that people in our jobs do.
Rick Lawrence: We feel it's very important that the student has a tangible benefit, and a piece of work that they can refer to.
Marshall: It's very nice to receive my work and being able to look at and go like "that's what I made."
Kyle: I worked with Rick and Helen. They were very helpful, I would just ask them anything, even if it felt like it was a silly question.
Ian Wills: The way I sort of, I worked with my student was; I first asked him, "Well, you know, what, what skills do you have." Trying to work out, not just what skills they don't have. But also, you know, what skills do they have, that we don't have in, our workplace that we can we can tap into,
Marshall: I love being creative, and coming in once a week just to sit down and just be creative for the whole day. It was really nice.
Ian: With the mindset of going well, we've got the same software. And we've never used it before, but actually, you probably know how to use it. So maybe you show me how to use it. And I think that thing would give them a sort of a sense of, well, hey, I've got something to contribute.
Helen: But I think the biggest challenge from the students perspective is that the workplace environment is so different from the class or college environment.
Marshall: I was nervous for quite a few weeks beyond just starting. But the more I worked, the more comfortable I got with all the staff.
Helen: It has been really great to see the students really blossom over the course of their placement.
Camilla: The industry placements are really important to us because they're a way of us bringing in new perspectives on to the work that we're planning on delivering.
Sophie: Our industry the creative industries are traditionally really difficult to get into. And it was a really good opportunity for us to work with a much broader range of students, and to offer them that experience so that they understand, what the jobs are, and perhaps where they'd like to go on to work.
Kyle: In the future I'm planning to do digital marketing job and do some work there.
Marshall: It's really helped me understand and realise just how important digital marketing is in the world.
Camilla: It gives these young people an insight into our sector, and the opportunities that that can offer. So it's a benefit to institution as a museum, but also To the wider sector as well.
Sophie: Both of our previous industry placements were really successful. And in fact, we are actually working with a third industry placement at the moment. And we certainly would like to build into our structure the facility so that we'll be able to continue to provide these longer placements. Because from our point of view, we feel that, the length of time for the placement works really well both for us and for the student.
The digital world is ever growing and has huge potential for industry placements.