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Further Education


Further Education Colleges provide courses including Apprenticeships and T-Levels in a local area that link to jobs and sectors that are identified as key sectors that will also be growing in the future.

Did you know?

FE colleges use Labour Market Information (LMI) and relationships with local and regional employers, to ensure they offer qualifications reflective of the job market. Further Education Colleges are attended by people of all ages, from 16 to 90+ although most students are aged between 16 and 18.

As well as a way to bringing in new recruits, Apprenticeships can also develop your existing staff to meet the unique needs of your business and increase productivity to grow your business. They combine on the job training and employees studying for a qualification at an educational establishment. Apprenticeships are available at a range of levels right up to Degree level and across many sectors. Understanding the right path to take when looking at the different apprenticeships available for your workforce can be helped by talking to your local provider.

T-Levels are employer-led qualifications that include relevant industry work experience - students are required to spend 20% of their time developing workplace skills with an employer. They are for students aged 16 to 19 in England who’ve finished GCSEs and are an alternative to A-Levels and apprenticeships, giving young people the technical and practical skills needed to be an asset in the workplace. T-Levels combine classroom learning with a substantial 45 day industry placement. The first T-Levels started in September 2020. Over the next few years, T-Levels will scale to include more than 20 courses, covering 11 skill areas. Each T-Level is equivalent in size to three A-Levels and helps young people develop the knowledge, attitude and practical skills to thrive in the workplace.

T-Levels are designed with employers, for employers who face a skills shortage that could impact the future success of their businesses. In response, the government has worked alongside hundreds of employers to design T-Level courses that deliver the skills businesses and organisations need. Further detail on the subjects and sectors covered can be found here.

T-Level students spend 80% of the course in the classroom, learning the skills that employers need. The other 20% is a meaningful industry placement, where they put these skills into action. The industry placement lasts a minimum of 315 hours or approximately 45 days and gives employers a unique opportunity to help develop new talent in their industry, and get young people work-ready. Industry placements are a shift from traditional work experience to a longer, more structured placement in the workplace.

How it works in the city

City College Plymouth

At City College Plymouth, the Employer Solutions team works with businesses and organisations across Plymouth and beyond. As one of the largest providers of skills in the South West, they value the input of employers and collectively work towards a goal of a stronger economy and more opportunities for the people of Plymouth. Further information and contact details can be found at:

City College Plymouth Employer Solutions

Apprenticeships with City College Plymouth

T Levels - the next level qualification

T Levels Information for Employers

• The new Employer support fund will provide financial assistance to employers offering high-quality T Level industry placements in the financial year 2023 to 2024.

A wide range of courses and qualifications including part-time evening courses are available and can be seen here.

The Plymouth Engineering Skills Centre

Located in Estover, Cornwall College’s specialist Engineering Skills Centre acts as a training hub for apprentices as well as providing daytime and evening courses for school pupils, adults and businesses. The Centre is fully fitted out for manufacturing, electrical and maintenance training as well as TIG, MIG and arc welding, CAD/CAM and PAT testing. Find out more here.

Access to regional further education and independent training providers

In addition to the city-based further education delivery, the Devon and Cornwall Training Provider Network also includes membership of South Devon College, Exeter College, Cornwall College and Truro & Penwith College along with a wide range of independent training providers.

Find out more here. Once you've found a further education college or independent training provider you'd like to work with, they will support you to meet your business needs.

Find out more

For further information on Apprenticeships, please click here.

For T-Level industry placements please see here.

Find out more here about how T-Level industry placements work here.

Find out more about the T-Level business benefits here.

Find a T-Level school or college here.

To understand more about the education landscape find out more here.

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