New College Swindon are constantly exploring and introducing new ways to improve the curriculum and prepare students for the world of work and higher education. A major part of this approach involves significant input from local employers.
The College boasts an expanding Employability team, business mentoring and work experience opportunities. In July, New College also made an announcement that it had been selected as the very first education provider in Swindon and Wiltshire to offer the new Technical Levels or T Levels – designed in conjunction with industry sectors.
T Levels will be offered by the College from September 2021 and have been confirmed following strong progress in the College’s current pilot of extended industry placements this year. This means that New College will be at the forefront of technical education development in the region, and will be able to offer these opportunities to learners and employers at least a year before other providers in Swindon and Wiltshire.
The College will also be launching a new initiative, ‘Future Talent Forums’ this October, which will enable employers to work closely with College staff to shape the curriculum. Local and national employers are invited to join the College as ‘Future Talent Partners’ across all sectors and will also have the opportunity to support and develop their future workforce. The official launch event takes place on Friday October 18th, 7.45AM to 9.15AM and employers interested in attending can register on the New College website.
Chris Baish, Vice Principal - Business Development and Employer Engagement said: “Employers often say that young people are not work ready. We already work closely with many local employers to ensure that they are, but we’re seeking to develop and formalise these activities into Future Talent Forums. This is a new initiative to offer employers the opportunity to join us at key points throughout the year as part of sector-specific panels of employer stakeholders, so that they can have a direct input into shaping the education and training that young people are involved in at College.”
The initiative will give employers the opportunity to have their say in what skills are needed now and in the future, by setting live projects where students can contribute directly to their business, or by offering work placements or Apprenticeships. The initiative also plays a key role in the development of T-Level qualifications; Future Talent Partners will have the opportunity to be at the forefront of developing these new technical routes into employment within their sectors.
“New College learners will see huge benefits of having local companies directly involved in shaping their programmes of study, providing reassurance that they will leave College with the skills and work experience that have been given the seal of approval by their potential future employers.”
Current student, Emily Dennis, is studying a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health & Social Care.
With the help of New College, she undertook an industry placement as a Healthcare Assistant at Lloyds Pharmacy, which subsequently led to her gaining a part-time job there and she is now working alongside Lloyd’s Pharmacist of the Year, Naz Ameen.
Emily said: “My course and the placement worked side by side - I completed units in medication and communication in my course and this helped at the pharmacy. Lloyds are now seeking to put me on a dispensing qualification which means I can get an NVQ in dispensing and be a dispenser at the end. I want to eventually go to University to do a Pharmaceuticals course as this is the industry that I’d like to work in. I would definitely recommend doing an industrial placement as it gave me opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise!”
New College currently has fantastic relationships with many employers within the region, and is hoping to commence more with those who wish to support the development of these exciting T Level programmes. Employers who can offer knowledge and training in digital areas, education and childcare, health and science, are invited to get in touch with the College’s Employability Team to discuss opportunities. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org