Where can a T-level get you?

Two 18-year-olds who have just received Merits for their T-levels are encouraging more young people to look outside the traditional routes when it comes to education.

T-levels are an alternative to A-levels and apprenticeships, they are broadly equivalent to three A-levels but focus more on technical and vocational skills than academia.

Ajrienne Kolapo, 18, has completed her digital T-level this year at La Retraite school in Atkins Road, Clapham Park, and secured a place to start an apprenticeship with Lloyds Bank in September.

Rachel Appiah-Kubi, 18, of the same school, has also finished her digital T-level and is going on to a degree apprenticeship with Santander Bank in September.

Ms Kolapo said: “For me, a T-level felt like the obvious next step.

“The course combined both classroom learning and an industry placement which really appealed to me.”

Despite starting her A-levels at the beginning of the sixth form, Ms Kolapo ended up transferring to the T-level course which she said suited her better, and is now a T-level ambassador.

She said: “It’s fair to say that studying for a T-level was one of the best decisions I’ve made and has provided me with many opportunities that I will forever be grateful for.

“For students getting their results this year, I encourage you to have a positive mindset  and know, regardless of how it goes, there are opportunities out there for you.”

T-level courses at the Clapham school have been designed with more than 250 leading businesses and employers which means students spend 80 per cent of the course in their learning environment, and the other 20 per cent on an industry placement, where they put skills into action.

Ms Appiah-Kubi, said: “I’m excited to soon be starting my degree apprenticeship with Santander, where I hope to stay and further my career as a Software Engineer.

“I felt privileged to undertake a placement with both a digital marketing company and the Civil Service as a junior full stack developer in the Department for International Trade – it was my experience at both places that really helped me realise what I want to do in the future.

“The skills I gained helped me with my exams at school. It’s taken me to amazing places and helped build my confidence in public speaking, navigating the workplace, and becoming more independent.

“I wish the best of luck to all the students like me who are getting their results today.

“And to any young people considering their next steps following their GCSEs, I really encourage them to consider studying for a T-level.”

Pictured top: From left, Rachel Appiah-Kubi and Ajrienne Kolapo (Picture: La Retraite school)

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