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CPI sets up students for the future using T Levels

17 Mar 2020

T levels are set to shake up industry on Teesside – paving the way for students to gain valuable hands-on experience before embarking on their dream careers.

And as the only College in the Tees Valley selected by the Department for Education to pilot the new qualifications, Middlesbrough College is leading the way when it comes to new delivery methods, providing skills and opportunities to benefit both learners and local employers.

So, what actually are T Levels – and how can they boost your business?

T Levels have been developed with employers to equip learners with the skills they need to enter the world of work – and the College is already working with businesses across the region and beyond to ensure its students are set up to succeed in top industry jobs.

The courses, which will be equivalent to three A Levels, include work placements of at least 45 days – allowing students to get essential hands-on experience in their chosen industry. 

One Teesside business that knows all about the benefits of T Levels is Redcar-based CPI (Centre for Process Innovation).

The leading technology innovation centre has been working with Middlesbrough College for more than eight years – helping provide young people with vital workplace experience and training – and views apprenticeships and T Levels as essential to its operations.

Hayley Carter, Learning and Development Business Partner at CPI, said: “We have a great relationship with Middlesbrough College and have taken on a number of apprentices over the years, many of whom have become a fundamental part of our team.

“The launch of T Levels is very exciting for our business. It’s a great way to give students invaluable experience in the workplace and a real insight into life after College.

“And for us as a learning organisation, it allows us to build a pipeline of talent to meet the demands of the business.  One of our guiding principles is to be a lifelong learner and realise your potential and working with placement students and apprentices supports our own staff development as well as giving opportunities to emerging talent across the region.

“Industry is changing rapidly – we’ve seen the digital shift that is happening in Middlesbrough at the moment and workplaces have to adapt if they’re to succeed. We need to work together to give young people the skills to walk into these new jobs.

“If you don’t get involved now with programmes like T Levels, you may struggle to recruit that talent in the future. For us, it’s about envisaging what skills we’ll need in the next three to five years and recruiting with those in mind.”

Stephanie Coleman is executive director of business and partnerships at Northern Skills Group – Middlesbrough College’s training and apprenticeship arm. She explained:  “The team at CPI knows that it can get a lot out of students who are workplace ready, and come to the business prepared with solid background knowledge in the sector.

“The idea is that T Levels students will acquire the knowledge and experience needed to open the door into skilled employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship.

“This type of skill building from the ground-up has significant benefits for organisations like CPI because they can adapt the training to suit their site-specific needs and build genuine loyalty among their young staff.

“We’re already helping a number of local employers to take advantage of T Levels and are on hand to offer advice or support to any business interested in finding out more.”

Middlesbrough College works with Northern Skills Group to deliver more than 100 types of programmes to around 2,700 apprentices across the North East and Yorkshire.

To find out more about how your business could take advantage of T Levels, get in touch by emailing

Find out more about T Level here.

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