Young people in Devon are being encouraged to consider the range of technical education routes on offer into some of the biggest growing sectors in the region. Apprenticeships, traineeships and the new T Levels are just some of the different education and training pathways being showcased this Open Day season, with clear routes into Devon’s growing industries.
This follows the launch of the government’s new ‘Get the Jump’ Skills for Life campaign, which launched on 24th January. The campaign brings together in one place all the training and education choices that are available for 14–19 year olds, so that young people can see how they compare and where they can lead, to help them take their next step.
Digital, IT and healthcare are three of the region’s biggest job growth areas, with the number of jobs in the digital sector doubling since 2012 – and this trend is expected to continue. The healthcare sector is also steadily growing and accounts for around £1 billion annually to Devon’s economy. The demand for more nurses means there are also 810 projected new job openings between now and 2024.
Employers, schools and colleges in the region are offering a range of support to young people who are considering their next steps. Technical education routes, including the new T Levels, are a helpful source for local employers looking to find, nurture and secure young talent.
One student, Josh Dyer from Kingsteignton, is studying a T Level in Digital Design, Production and Development at Exeter College and is currently completing a work placement with Teignbridge Propellors.
Josh commented, "I chose the T Level as it is a course that represents a combined way of learning, blending classroom and practical training. I have dyslexia so prefer this style of learning. The course is amazing - there have been so many opportunities and projects to get involved in.
“The placement at Teignbridge Propellers has been really great. It has improved my team skills and given me good insight into how a software development team fits into a business and has reinforced what we’ve been studying at college. When I complete my T Level, I will be working at Teignbridge Propellers as they have offered me a graduate job, following on from my work placement with them."
Another student, Meg Wall from North Devon, is studying for a T Level in Health at Exeter College and has been doing her work placement with the Devon Partnership NHS Trust. Meg commented, “I chose a T Level because it offered new opportunities for my learning and the chance to complete an industry placement. I have found the course so interesting and enjoyable, and I am looking forward to future learning. The placement has offered us a new perspective on what we learn at college and helped us put our skills into practice. In the future I hope to go to university to study Midwifery.”
Technical education routes being spotlighted in the area include:
- New T Level qualifications. T Levels are designed with employers and include practical on-the-job training. They can help you find your way into a job, higher apprenticeship or university. There is a whole range of T Levels available to study at Exeter College - you can find out more about the different courses here: https://exe-coll.ac.uk/school-leavers/t-levels/
- To find your nearest T Level you can look here: Find your nearest T Level
- Apprenticeships. You don’t have to choose between getting paid and gaining skills. With an apprenticeship, you can do both. Apprenticeships help you develop skills, knowledge and behaviours in preparation for progression into further training or work. There is a whole range of apprenticeships on offer in the area. Data & Science, Education & Early Years, and Digital & Technology are just some of the apprenticeships available at Exeter College. To find and apply for an apprenticeship in your local area, search here.
- Traineeships. A traineeship gives you the support and skills to find your way into an apprenticeship or work. Traineeships can boost your skills and confidence, which can help you get into an apprenticeship or a job. To find and apply for a traineeship visit: Find your nearest traineeship or find a local training provider.
- Kickstart Scheme Jobs. These are open to 16–24 year olds claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. Thousands of Kickstart Scheme jobs are available right now in a wide range of sectors. Talk to your Work Coach to find out how to apply or read more on the JobHelp website.
Devon Partnership NHS Trust is offering a number of T Level students industry placements. Jo Horne, Apprenticeship Development Manager at the Trust, said: “T Levels form an important part of Devon Partnership NHS Trust’s plan to develop additional career pathways and progression routes into the NHS. These new qualifications provide an excellent opportunity for young people to explore careers in Mental Health and Learning Disabilities. It’s crucial that we start a relationship with young people who will become our nursing workforce in the next five years.”
Commenting, Sam Hillman, Assistant Principal for Curriculum at Exeter College said: “It’s more important than ever for young people to get ahead and start thinking about their choices, whether they take a technical education pathway like a T Level, or choose to do A levels or BTECs. “We’re encouraging all young people to explore all their options. Our courses offer a range of exciting routes for young people which will ensure they are well-equipped to maximise the wealth of opportunities out there and get a foot on the ladder in the region’s growth areas. The perfect way to do this is to attend one of our Open Events where you can learn more about our whole offer, including the fantastic new T Levels.”
Kat Woodman, a careers adviser from the National Careers Service said, “Whether you know where you’re headed in the future or not, exploring the work and study choices available to you is a great place to start. Our friendly and professional advisers at the National Careers Service can help you better understand your next steps or talk you through all the choices to get you where you want to go.”
The 'Get the Jump’ Skills for Life campaign has information and advice about all the choices on offer, so young people can choose the best path for them - visit www.gov.uk/get-the-jump
If you need help or advice about learning, training and work, to make informed decisions about your future, you can contact the National Careers Service via webchat or by calling 0800 100 900 (8am-8pm Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm Saturday).
You can also find out more about upcoming Open Events at Exeter College at https://exe-coll.ac.uk