A boost for Dover’s Technical Skills Opportunities

Many students in year 11 will soon complete the last of their GCSE exams before taking the next steps in their education, skills and work journeys. For some this will mean studying A-levels. However there is now a new route and a new qualification available for students – the T-Level. The T-Level is a two-year technical based qualification that includes work experience with a local employer.

T-Levels are equivalent to three A-Levels. T-Level points count towards university applications, like A-Levels, in the university application system (called UCAS). So it can be a good option for students who have interest and ability in technical, employment and business skills and want to go straight into work, as well as students who aren’t sure whether or not they will want to go to university after sixth form.

Last Friday, 09 June, I met with students and staff at Dover Technical College where T-Levels are being taken and to see for myself the incredible new workshop and classroom for the automotive T-Level qualification. The College has received over £590,000 of Government funding for the new facilities. The workshop has been co-designed with employers and technical specialists in order to provide a state-of-the-art training environment with top quality machinery and tools. As well as traditional car maintenance and repairs, the Dover facility will support modern learning for electric/ dual fuel vehicles too.

I was so impressed by the energy and enthusiasm of the specialist training staff as well as the students I met, who were soon to finish their course and were brimming with positivity about their next steps after qualifying. I was also pleased to meet local employers, like the Barretts of Kent motor dealership and car servicing company, who are supporting the college with its training programme.

For potential students who might struggle financially to access college, East Kent Colleges has a range of bursary and financial support schemes for students with a household income under £30,000 and students who are in a situation of vulnerability which is eligible for support. Government backed financial help may be available together with college schemes for travel and childcare costs, books and free lunch meals.

T-Levels are available in a wide range of topics across the areas within the East Kent Colleges group, including childcare, catering, business and administration and digital skills. I was pleased to help secure the Levelling Up funding of £18million to include an expanded digital and creative skills hub in Dover’s Bench Street, which will offer more skills and training opportunities for our area when completed.

Dover and Deal is an area which is continuing to grow and thrive with skills and jobs. Visiting the Dover Technical College provided a welcome update on investment and opportunities for our young people as they take those important next steps in life.




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