NEW College officially opened its £2 million T Levels hub which will help prepare students for vocational careers and work placements.

The new learning facility on the Queens Drive campus includes mock hospital adult and maternity wards with triage rooms and a birthing pool as well as a mock nursery, a cyber lab, and a wet lab with facility for biochemical lab work.

Four T Levels are currently taught by the college in Health, Education and Childcare, Digital and Laboratory Sciences with three new ones launching from September in Accounting, Finance and Management and Administration. New College is the first place in Wiltshire to offer the new two-year qualification.

It prepares learners for a skilled vocational career and combines college study with an extended work placement of 45 days (315 hours). Employers have helped to shape the new qualifications and provide the all-important work placement opportunities.

This Is Wiltshire: New College assistant principal Jason ClearNew College assistant principal Jason Clear

Guests at Tuesday's event included Swindon Borough Council leader David Renard and Paddy Bradley  Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership CEO Paddy Bradley, who cut the opening ribbon .

The college's assistant principal and T Level lead Jason Clear and principal Carole Kitching gave speeches while food and hospitality students provided the catering.

New names for the wards and nursery had been submitted by students, with prizes awarded to the winners. Zara Haque named the Maternity Ward “Rising Stars”, Marysil Fernandes named the Adult Nursing Ward “Blossom,” and Elena Bradley named the Nursery “Little Stars.”

This Is Wiltshire: New College principal Carole KitchingNew College principal Carole Kitching

Carole Kitching said, “The college is continuing a long and proud tradition of technical and professional education in Swindon, and T levels are a contemporary stage of this tradition.

"They are all about training young people for employment in specialist areas or further training at higher levels and provide an excellent route into our new Institute of Technology.

"The hub facilities allow them to learn in industry-standard environments which will really set them up with the practical and applied skills they will need for their careers. The students have been taught in them since the autumn, and love learning in them.

"It has been brilliant to host guests at this event from all of the areas that have made the T Levels happen: employers, school partners, Swindon Borough Council, the LEP, our funding partners, staff and of course our students.

"We are really excited for September for the launch of our three new T Levels and there will be more to come after that.”

This Is Wiltshire: A mock hospital ward in the T Levels hub at New CollegeA mock hospital ward in the T Levels hub at New College