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Digital students help local companies expand IT security and compliance

As the digital world grows and changes, it’s important for businesses to stay ahead of the curve with their cyber security and compliance.

With online threats more imminent than ever, six Digital T Level students are working with Refresh IT, an IT consultancy based in Huddersfield, to put together project proposals and support local businesses with becoming GDPR compliant and building robust security practices.

As part of their T Level qualification, students undertake a unique 315-hour industry placement to help them gain the skills and knowledge they need to be ready for employment.

John Wolski, Managing Director at Refresh IT, shares his experience of working with T Level students: “When the Calderdale College team got in touch last year, I decided to take on an industry placement student as it’s nice to give something back. The world revolves around people being given chances - when I started back in 1998 someone took a chance on me, so I wanted to do the same.

“I see taking on a T Level industry placement student as a big responsibility. I’m giving them real world experience they can use alongside their qualification to secure a job.

Not only that, I’m bringing new talent into the business – they might not have masses of knowledge yet but they are bright students and bring a fresh perspective to the team.”


The Digital T Level, one of the first of these new qualifications to be delivered at Calderdale College from September 2021, goes above and beyond the basics of Computing to give students expert knowledge in the technology industry.

Speaking of the tech industry, John added: “Every three years the sector develops with new technology and you have to be willing to put the effort into learning. Those who put in the extra work will benefit the most, and my placement students are keen; they want to learn. I hope to help them find employment once they get their qualification.”

T Levels are the newest qualification for 16-18-year-olds, designed by the Government in collaboration with 250 major businesses.

Equivalent to 3 A Levels, these two-year courses go beyond the basics in industry and give students all the current skills and knowledge they need to secure employment once they finish their studies.