Kingston University launches first T-level placements to equip sixth form science students with vital career skills

Laboratory science students from Ursuline School Latusha, Agatha, Bernadeta and Aksara (L to R) are the first group to be offered T-level placements by Kingston University and visited campus with their Assistant Headteacher Ben Barton (centre).

Kingston University’s first T-level placements will begin this summer, offering local sixth form students the opportunity to gain on-the-job industry experience and develop vital practical and technical skills as part of their laboratory science course. T-level qualifications are aimed at 16 to 19 year olds and are equivalent to three A-levels. Designed to meet the needs of industry and prepare students for entry into skilled employment, they were launched by the government in September 2020. The two-year courses offer students practical and knowledge-based learning at school or college, as well as on-the-job experience through industry placements of at least 315 hours. Four students from Ursuline Sixth Form in Wimbledon are the first group to have been offered placements at Kingston University as part of their T-level courses. They will work as technicians in the University’s new immersive pharmacy skills simulation suites as well as the chemistry and life science labs at its Penrhyn Road campus. There are also plans to give them experience in the institution’s award-winning nursing and midwifery skills laboratories. As well as learning some pharmacy and chemistry course content during the placement, tasks being undertaken by the students will include typical technician roles such as preparing and setting up laboratories for University students’ experiments and simulations, clearing up after classes and ensuring health and safety requirements are followed. Kingston University’s Faculty of Health, Science, Social Care and Education technical officer Daren Chapman said the placements will provide students with practical experience of working within a scientific environment. He said: “We have a great relationship with Ursuline School and wanted to give the pupils a chance to learn vital skills on the job – the T-level placement will give them more in-depth knowledge than work experience placements typically provide. It will also allow some of our technical staff to take on more a mentoring role, which will help with their own personal development.” Agatha, an 18-year-old T-level laboratory science at Ursuline School, wants to have a career in occupational therapy and said she is looking forward to the placement as she prefers doing practical work. She said: “I’m going to be working with professionals who have great experience in their field and are now teaching others – the feedback will be invaluable and I’m looking forward to being able to apply my creative mindset and the development and experience I will gain from the placement.” Aspiring adult nurse Latusha said the placement will help build her confidence and give an early indication of what university life is like. “Doing T-levels will give me new experiences and help boost my career prospects. I want to be more confident in how I interact with people and this placement is the perfect opportunity to help me do that,” the 18-year-old said. Assistant Headteacher at Ursuline School, Ben Barton, who has responsibility for technical education, said the placements at Kingston University would be hugely beneficial for their students. He commented: “The future world of work will need greater numbers of technically skilled people and the T-levels can really help close this skills gap. “These industry placements are a great way to support the development of skills and enhance their employability after they graduate.” The placements will begin at the start of June and take place over the summer, with plans for Kingston University to offer more T-level placement opportunities in the future across a range of subjects.

Applications open for schools to take part in the next youth engagement programme

The Environment and Climate Change Committee is offering secondary schools, sixth form colleges, and further education colleges the opportunity to work with the Committee by applying for its youth engagement programme for 14-18 year olds.  The deadline for applications to be received is 11:59pm on Thursday 15th June. Schools and colleges will be selected before the summer holiday, and the programme will begin in September 2023. Background To find out how your school can help the Committee investigate issues related to the environment, and to apply, see the link below. A full list of ground rules and expectations can be found on the application page. Six schools from around the UK will be selected, and the successful schools and colleges will work with the committee for a year. The programme will include; virtual sessions with committee members to discuss committee work and inquiries, the opportunity to advise the committee on what questions to ask Government Ministers during inquiries and a visit from the Chair of the Committee.  During last year’s successful pilot programme, schools and colleges from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, contributed to the Committee’s high-profile report, ‘Mobilising action on climate change and environment: behaviour change’.   Baroness Parminter, Chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee said:   “This unique and exciting opportunity assists the work of the Committee in holding the Government to account and ensure environment and climate change targets are met.  “As the students who took part in last year’s engagement programme demonstrated, young people are passionate about the environment and have the intuition to press the Government on the key issues facing our planet.”  School Application Form

Public four times more likely to think apprenticeships offer young people better job prospects than university

Engineer And Apprentice Discussing Job Sheet In Factory

People are four times more likely to think apprenticeships offer young people better job prospects than university, according to new research from tech startup Multiverse, shifting from the long held perception that a university degree provides young people with the best chance of succeeding in life. The new report finds that almost half of the public (44%) believe apprenticeships offer young people better job prospects and preparation for the workplace than university, while just one in ten (11%) thinks the opposite. The research also challenges perceptions that apprenticeships are widely seen as an option for other people’s children. When presented with the choice between university and an apprenticeship for a family member, fewer than two in ten (17%) respondents said they would prefer a relative to go university, in contrast to almost three quarters of respondents (73%) who said they would want a family member to do an apprenticeship. This is a view shared across all income groups, with just two in ten (19%) of the highest earners preferring a family member to go to university rather than begin an apprenticeship. Multiverse’s representative poll of 1,517 people in England also reveals that seven in ten people (70%) believe that apprenticeships should receive more government support than universities. When asked about how they would like to see funding divided, respondents allocated two thirds of cash to apprenticeships on average and only a third to universities – approximately the opposite of the current proportion. The new research comes as Multiverse sets out a number of recommendations to remove barriers and unlock the potential of apprenticeships in the UK, calling on the government to make it easier for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to access funding to train up the next generation of their workforce. Recommendations include: Euan Blair, CEO at Multiverse, said: “This National Apprenticeship Week, it’s great that we continue to see more and more demand for apprenticeships; not only from prospective apprentices themselves, their family members, and wider society, but from a huge volume of employers, both large and small. The contribution apprentices make to businesses and society is enormous – the Government’s own data shows that for every £1 spent on an apprenticeship, more than £28 is put back into the economy. “Beyond that, apprenticeships are fulfilling the potential of millions of people, diversifying our workforce across the UK, and addressing some of the most critical skills gaps, particularly in digital and tech. Our report provides clear evidence of the opportunities apprenticeships are unlocking in Britain.”

Foundations Live construction and engineering careers event returns

An overhead shot of a previous Foundations Live event

Teachers, lecturers, course leaders and heads of departments are being encouraged to sign their students up to attend the biggest and best construction and engineering careers, trade and networking event in the North – Foundations Live. Foundations Live, which launched in 2016, is a unique event that enables students to explore the huge variety of career options available within the construction and engineering industries, whilst meeting hundreds of people from companies that operate across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Builders merchant, Jewson, has exhibited and sponsored Foundations Live every year since its inception. Ken Wilson, from Jewson, said: “Foundations Live brings the industry together under one roof and focuses on inspiring the next generation of talent. “It’s a hugely beneficial event to attend, as we not only help young people understand more about their career options, but also network with industry peers, meet clients and consultants, as well as showcase the diversity of what our business and industry as a whole has to offer.”  Students from primary and secondary schools, colleges and further education establishments can all attend Foundations Live, which takes place at Bishop Burton College on 20th October, for free. The event is run in partnership with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and hosts more than 50 exhibitors, providing the very latest digital demonstrations and informative drop-in sessions to engage learners of all ages – from primary school pupils to adult re-trainers – with construction and engineering. Director, David Blades, from construction firm and event organiser, Hobson & Porter, said: “With the huge skills shortages that our industry is facing, it’s everyone’s responsibility to work together to attract more people from every background into our industry. We all know what needs to happen, and we can’t ignore the crisis our industry is facing – we need to work together to attract new talent and train and nurture those people, as ultimately if we all pull together everyone benefits.” Darren Storrer, head of the Institute of Building Technologies, from Hull College, said: “Attendance at Foundations Live is a must for any student wanting to learn about their career options and we certainly missed it when Covid restrictions were in place for two years. So, we can’t wait to return this year and bring over our learners from all vocational pathways. The event is informative and a great hands-on day, where our learners can talk to employers, contractors and suppliers and see the latest innovations in construction. With the focus being on environmental and sustainability, we are educating the future of the industry. “Typically, there are more than 800 students from all over the North who attend, and they get so much out of it. With all the big regional employers, as well as representatives from every sector of the industry, it’s an action-packed informative day that brings real employability benefits to our learners. We have had learners that have secured work experience and apprenticeships through connections made at the event, and lots of learners find out about new areas of the industry that they previously thought was inaccessible to them.” This year, representatives from Talentview Construction will be attending Foundations Live to help students find first jobs, apprenticeships, and work experience opportunities, specifically in construction. Funded by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and supported by Government, Talentview Construction is an online platform for young people to show their skills and experience to employers actively recruiting for early-careers positions. Christian Warden, engagement director at Talentview Construction, said: “Our platform does online what Foundations Live does in person, so it’s great to be working together to showcase all of the fantastic opportunities in the construction sector and discuss all of the different routes to get there. The CITB’s Construction Skills Network report says that we need to add more than a quarter of a million workers to the industry by 2026 – that’s 53,200 additional workers every year – to keep pace with demand. Bridging that gap between education and industry is key to meeting these targets and we’re looking forward to meeting the next generation of construction professionals at the event.” Registration for the event is open now via: Information for colleges and further education establishments can be found here: Information for secondary schools can be found here:

Fnatic becomes first Esports organisation to launch college partner programme

Sam Matthews, Fnatic Founder

Global esports performance brand, Fnatic, has today launched the first ever dedicated college partner programme, supporting young people in their pursuit of a career in gaming. Inspired by the launch of Pearson Esports BTEC, Fnatic created the programme to ensure the course is widely available to those hoping to break into the industry. From producing an esports brand to managing tournaments, Fnatic’s objective is to provide students with direct access to a real-world gaming brand. From guest speakers to the delivery of networking events, Fnatic’s work will provide real industry insights, and highlight the variety of roles that sit within the esports sector. The London-based organisation has partnered with three key college partners across the UK, including Havant & South Downs College, Access Creative College, and Queen Mary’s College (QMC). James Fraser-Murison, Esports Director at QMC and National Trainer for Pearson said: ” As the leading provider of esports teaching in the UK, this is huge for our students and also the college.  “To partner up with the biggest esports organisation in the UK, will mean we are directly giving our students a step-up into the industry with first-hand experiences, careers advice and opportunities from a global brand in one of the largest industries in the world.” Rhys Williams, Former League of Legends Coach and Player, Current Tutor at HSDC said: “We’re very excited here at HSDC to be working with Fnatic as part of the College Partner Programme.  “This partnership will open doors for the next generation that were so hard to find over previous years, it has the potential to shape the future of the educational esports scene.” Sam Matthews, Fnatic Founder said: “We are super passionate about bringing new talent into our world and this partnership is our way of onboarding the next generation of gamers, whilst giving back to the community.  “We’re so appreciative of the college partners who share our vision in supporting the development of these upcoming esports hopefuls.”  To benefit future esports industry-professionals, Fnatic has outlined six key aspects of the community college programme which enhance the existing Pearson BTEC, and gives exclusive access to those on the course: 1.       Delivering lectures and webinars Fnatic will deliver hyper-relevant lectures and webinars specific to the curriculum that add value and support learning with real-world examples.  2.       Networking events Fnatic will host interactive networking events for students to prepare them for industry events and connect them with future peers. In addition, the Esports organisation will give students inside access to their offices, facilities and staff to provide on the ground learning.  3.       Real world task setting Based on the gaming curriculum, Fnatic will design creative tasks to give real-world examples of the challenges students may come across when working in the industry. 4.       Discount on Fnatic GEAR Fnatic will offer up to 20% discount on Fnatic GEAR to kit out arenas and classrooms with the best quality equipment for interactive learning. 5.       Exclusive access to events and activations Provide exclusive access to students wanting to get involved in events and activations with an announcement-only server. 6.       Hosting tournaments and providing prizes To incentivise learning Fnatic will host innovative tournaments and share prizes for winners The partnership – which runs exclusively as not-for-profit – will officially launch for the new school term in September 2022. In the meantime, Fnatic will be working closely with the college partners to continuously refine and improve the programme to deliver the highest-level content for aspiring esports athletes. For more information please visit: