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T Level student Toni-Leigh is setting the standard for students across the North East!

05 Apr 2023
Toni-Leigh and Angela Carney

Toni-Leigh began her journey at Middlesbrough College in September 2022 on the T Level Surveying and Design for Construction and the Built Environment programme and has since blown away both her teachers and work placement employers. Forging a path for herself, Toni-Leigh approached A&N Safety Consultants, based in Middlesbrough, and Carney Consultancy, based in North Tyneside, in hopes to gain some industry experience within the firms whilst studying her T Level course.

Both AN Consultancy and Carney Consultancy gave Toni-Leigh a chance, working together to give a young budding professional the vital work experience needed to thrive in the industry, splitting her work placement hours between the firms.

We spoke with Andrea Nicholls, Director of A&N Safety Consultants, and Angela Carney, Managing Director of Carney Consultancy, regarding the experience taking on a T Level student from Middlesbrough College.

Andrea comments: “Toni-Leigh has been so enthusiastic since starting her work placement with us, she is always ready to learn something new and it is clear she is passionate about the industry. We have been really lucky with her as she’s a real asset to the business – we wish we could keep her forever!

“I am a part of the committee for women in construction in the Tees Valley area and Toni-Leigh has already joined me as a part of the committee, which has been brilliant. Toni-Leigh is already so keen to share her knowledge with younger students, we are soon arranging for her to visit a school for a presentation to teach younger girls about women in construction and how they are supported.

It is fantastic that Toni-Leigh is learning from and working with two powerful women in the North East construction community. The representation of women in male dominated industries is so important, showing our students they progress in whatever are they choose.

Angela says: “Toni-Leigh has enthusiasm like no other, she is so keen to get involved with every project we throw at her and is extremely proactive in her work. We would pick someone like her over an A* student any day of the week, the passion for the industry is what we like to see.

“We have actually been sponsoring Toni-Leigh, so she is able to take driving lessons and pass her test as we are keen for her to travel up to Newcastle and work with us more.”

At Middlesbrough College, the specialist Industry Placements Team work hard to match suitable students with employers, to ensure every party has the best experience possible. T Level students are a brilliant way to bridge skills gaps and create a loyal long-standing workforce, with the skills and knowledge required for your business needs.

Angela continues: “Both Andrea and I think this partnership has been fantastic, it’s great to work together to give Toni-Leigh the best experience possible. We always say you can’t be what you can’t see, and we are proud to have a female student here being trained by women in a male dominated industry.

“Young women are often put off as construction is seen as a male dominated industry. We are working with Toni-Leigh to create some content to inspire future women in the construction industry. The only thing you should worry about is those who aren’t supportive of you – female or male!”

It was brilliant to speak with Andrea and Angela regarding their experience taking on a T Level student, and we hope we can support more employers through Middlesbrough College Group to experience the same.

To find out more about supporting a T Level or work placement student, email

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