Exeter College’s Construction Centre extension welcomes new T Level students

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Exeter College’s new Construction Centre extension has welcomed its first cohort of Construction T Level students following a £1million transformation creating a bespoke learning area for the new qualification.  

Exeter College is one of the first providers in the country – and the only one in Devon – to offer T Levels for the 2020 academic year, with two year, full time courses now running in ConstructionDigital and Education and Childcare 

T Levels follow on from GCSEs and are set to revolutionise the technical education landscape, providing learners with a qualification that is the equivalent to three A Levels and combines classroom-based learning with 20% of time spent on an industry placement. T Levels can be used to move directly in to industry or to support an application to university. Further T Level courses are set to be rolled out across the country in the coming years, providing additional study routes in a variety of industries.  

The extension in the Construction Centre makes space for a new computer suite, as well as an electrical workshop and testing area for students. Underneath the mezzanine is a painting and decorating room and workshop for teaching trades. The renovation also includes a new café and staffroom.  

The extra space has also led to the conversion of the Learning Resource Centre. This will become two bespoke teaching rooms, each boasting 15 brand new specialist Computer Aided Design (CAD) computers. These facilities will provide Exeter College’s Construction T Level students with industry standard technology, software and packages for the design and project management side of the new course.  

The folding acoustic partition separating these two classrooms also means that this new space can easily transform into one large seminar room, where all learners can learn together. This will give the College flexibility in terms of numbers and how to deliver certain aspects of the new qualification.  

Sam Hillman, Assistant Principal at Exeter College, said, “We are very excited to be one of the first FE providers in the country and the only College in Devon to deliver T Levels.  

Learners studying with us on a T Level will benefit from subject specialist teachers who have worked in industry as well as have access to state of the art facilities and resources.  

Our T Level learners will develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours that employers need and will be the talent of the future.” 

Dave O’Connor, Head of Construction at Exeter College, said, “The investment in facilities will provide our T Level learners with bespoke training areas supported with state-of-the-art technology to really enhance the teaching and learning experience. Our industry specialist staff can take teaching to the next level and we’re all excited about delivering this new qualification. 

The T Level qualification will consist of 80% of time spent in the classroom gaining technical and theoretical skills and the remaining 20% is a valuable placement in industry. 

Dave explainedThe College has Industry Placement Liaison Officers to create all the partnerships with local businesses to create these placement opportunitiesStudents will generally spend four days in College and have one day working in the industry.  

“The bespoke industry placement will support students and will help to create the next wave of civil engineers. We’re excited to help students create a career for themselves and make a big difference in society. 

Applications to join Exeter College in September 2021 open later this month, with a total of ten T Levels set to be offered, including in Design and Surveying, Healthcare Science and Science.