Engaging with the ETF's TLPD offer: South Devon College

T Level Resource Improvement Projects (TRIPs) are provider-led, action research projects. Through TRIPs, providers identify a problem which would benefit from further investigation and develop proposals for collaborative project delivery. In this blog, Maria Woodger, Assistant Principal – Apprenticeships and T Levels at South Devon College, writes about the benefits of getting involved with TRIPS and how the college has engaged with other elements of the ETF’s T Level Professional Development (TLPD) offer.

At South Devon College we commenced our TLPD journey with the ETF during 2019. As a Wave 2 provider, we have been working over the past two years to enhance our readiness to deliver our first T Levels in September 2021.

Our relationship commenced with an Organisational Training Needs Analysis and since then we have increased our interaction with the ETF, which now sees regular monthly meetings with our South West Area Relationship and Development Lead, Rosemarie-D’Ambrosio-Winter, who has ensured that we have access to the most up-to-date training and CPD available.

Organisational readiness to deliver T Levels has enabled access to training for both academic and professional services staff, as well as members of our governing body, and staff directly involved in the delivery of T Levels were encouraged to complete an Individual Training Needs Analysis. Access to the CPD packages and project opportunities have given colleagues within the college the opportunity to be both a part of, and lead, TRIPs.

Being part of TRIPs has not only supported with pedagogical development of staff in readiness for T Levels, but has also enabled the college to be part of a wider community of practice with colleagues across the country who are also in the early stages of adopting T Levels. Being part of more than one TRIP has provided rich and diverse opportunities for staff from the technical education curriculum, as well as maths and English colleagues, to collaborate and look at innovative ways that teaching and learning can be approached to support the delivery of the technical qualification whilst also undertaking industry placement. A legacy of the TRIPs is the continued and growing number of South West network meetings with Wave 1, Wave 2 and Wave 3 providers to share experiences and opportunities linked to the roll-out of T Levels across the region. We are now leading on a new small TRIP ‘Employability Skills in a Changing World’.

Prior to the national lockdowns, colleagues within the organisation were able to access Industry Insights, enabling further CPD in their industry to take place. Since the national lockdown, these insights have been updated to allow virtual insights to take place and we have had several staff also undertake these. Sectors where colleagues have undertaken insights include health and science, construction and digital, with more planned in the future.

We are now excited to be welcoming our first cohorts of T Level learners in September and are looking forward to supporting them through their two-year journey with us and placement providers to provide the pipeline workforce of the future.

Related blog post: Engaging with the ETF’s TLPD offer: Truro and Penwith College

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