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Local employers from the health and education sectors joined Weymouth College for the opening of new state-of-art facilities that will prepare students for the working world.

On Tuesday 21st November, Weymouth College Principal and CEO, Julia Howe, cut the ribbon on the Tyneham building, which will be used for new T Level qualifications in Health and Early Years.

Tyneham opening

Weymouth College Principal and CEO, Julia Howe, cuts the ribbon outside the new Tyneham building, watched by Director of Curriculum and Skills, Martin Oliver, and Head of School for Health, Social Care & Early Years, Megan Barnes

The new building was constructed at the College’s Cranford Avenue campus over the summer holiday and the 2023 intake of students have already been getting to grips with equipment in the mock hospital ward and children’s nursery, replicating real-world teaching environments and providing valuable hands-on experience.

The opening event was attended by representatives from local health and education service providers, including the NHS and Dorset Council, as well as College governors, staff and students.

It coincided with two employer forums, allowing local businesses the chance to give feedback and suggestions on the curriculum offered at Weymouth College.

Speaking at the event, Weymouth College’s Director of Curriculum and Skills, Martin Oliver, said the up-to-date, industry-standard facilities in the new Tyneham building would “go a long way” to supporting skills to the benefit of local businesses and the community, and he thanked all those involved in the project.

The building was funded by Wave 4 of the government’s T Levels capital investment fund, providing a total of more than £74 million to support 86 T Levels projects.

This investment is intended to ensure that T Level students are able to learn in modern, fit-for-purpose buildings, suitable for the delivery of world-class qualifications with access to industry-standard specialist equipment, which will help promote progression into skilled employment.

Head of School for Health, Social Care & Early Years, Megan Barnes, pictured at the opening with T Level students who will benefit from the new facilities

Megan Barnes, Head of School for Health, Social Care & Early Years at Weymouth College, said: “Having a new building to support quality teaching, learning and assessment is a significant asset to the care department at Weymouth College. It provides a conducive environment for both lecturers and students to excel in their respective roles.

“This kind of investment not only benefits the current generation of students as well as enhancing the overall learning experience, but also contributes to the development of skilled professional who will play a vital role in the future workforce.”

You can find more details on the Tyneham building project here.

Tyneham opening

Guests from the health and education sectors gather for the opening of the new facilities at Weymouth College

What exactly is a T Level?

Tyneham Hospital Ward

The mock hospital ward in the new Tyneham building at Weymouth College will offer T Level students hands-on experience

T Levels are an alternative to A Levels, apprenticeships and other 16 to 19 courses. Equivalent in size to three A Levels, a T Level focuses on vocational skills and can help students into skilled employment, higher study or apprenticeships.

Each T Level includes an in-depth industry placement that lasts at least 45 days. Students get valuable experience in the workplace; employers get early sight of the new talent in their industry.

T Level students spend 80% of the course in their learning environment, gaining the skills that employers need. The other 20% is a meaningful industry placement, where they put these skills into action.

You can find out more about T Levels offered at Weymouth College here.

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