Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has visited Derby College Group (DCG) to learn more about work underway to better prepare young people for the world of work and support local companies’ skills requirements.
DCG will be one of the first colleges to offer the new T-Level qualifications in Construction, Digital and Education & Childcare from September 2020 with a particular focus on extended work experience.
Ahead of the launch, DCG has already established close links with regional employers who have co-designed the curriculum to meet their needs and provide work experience, industry visits, special projects and guest lectures for students across the College.
Mr Williamson met with employers who are heavily involved in the Employment and Skills Academy programme such as RDS Global and with apprenticeship programmes such as engineering companies Garrandale, Rolls-Royce, SNC Lavalin, Pentaxia and Laystone.
He went onto meet some of the first Engineering and Professional Construction students and apprentices who are benefiting from the new state-of-the-art Mechatronics laboratory supported by a £1.3m grant from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.
The visit included a briefing on DCG’s involvement in the new national programme to develop best practice for supporting students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities as well as the College’s expanding higher education facilities and opportunities.
Mr Williamson said: “Derby College is playing an important role in the launch of the T-Level programme and is already ahead of the game in preparing young people for the world of work.
“This has been a fascinating visit and an opportunity to meet a wide range of employers, college staff, students and apprentices.
DCG Vice Principal Kate Martin concluded: “The Secretary of State was very interested in the pioneering work that we are doing across the College.
“The Roundhouse college opened this month ten years ago and Mr Williamson was keen to learn more about the history considering his family links to the rail industry and his father actually worked at the former loco works on this site.
“It was a privilege to therefore explain how we transformed the derelict buildings and the original Roundhouse to be at the heart of college life.”