Addressing the local skills gap

Nine out of 10 local employers are struggling to find the skills they need to meet growing demand. Business leaders are voicing a growing concern that the current skills shortage poses a threat to the growth of their business and the economy.

Many of the employers that currently partner with Calderdale College give several causes for the skills shortage, but the top reason is that candidates lack hands-on experience and the right mix of skills; critical thinking, communication, resilience, digital and flexibility.

The skills gap has also evolved through fewer migrants in the labour market and older people retiring, as such Calderdale College has, and continues, to focus on creating improved links between local employers to ensure that what students learn is relevant for businesses throughout the district.

"We aim to help identify and train the skills needed to meet current and future demand."

Which sectors are most impacted by the UK skills shortage?

We know that some sectors have been impacted more than others by the shortage of skilled workers. Securing staff with strong digital awareness is an increasingly important consideration for organisations.

Web design and development professionals are also in short supply in construction, manufacturing and engineering. One in three vacancies are now hard to fill due to a shortage of skilled employees with the right qualifications or experience.

Health related services including the NHS and residential care are also finding it increasingly difficult to recruit appropriately qualified staff with relevant experience.

What’s the answer?

Calderdale College has listened, and will continue to listen and engage with, local employers across the region. We are passionate about supporting a future for our talented students, helping them secure fulfilling careers locally, retaining talent in the valley and helping local businesses to remain in the area and flourish.

T Level students completing their study programme are required to complete an industry placement in order to pass their course, a sure-fire way of creating candidates with these skills employers worry that their applicants lack.

Local businesses can address the skills shortage by hosting a T Level student, enabling the talent pipeline to gain the skills so desperately sought. Those businesses may then wish to consider employing the same student, creating a seamless transition into the existing work force.

What are T Levels?

In a nutshell, T Levels will replace the established BTEC qualification. They are an alternative further education option for post GCSE students. Students will study one T Level in a subject of their choice and at the end of two years of study they’ll gain a qualification equivalent to three A Levels in UCAS points.

The new qualifications were introduced by the Government in 2019 and the concept came from the very same UK employers who agreed that young people entering the workforce were lacking in the skills they need to be ‘work ready’.

As a result, T Level study programmes were developed by employers to meet future demand and aim to create a robust talent pipeline.

The two-year courses are offered in a number of subjects and an industry placement in embedded into the study programme. This is a shift from traditional ‘work experience’ to a longer, more structured placement in the workplace for young people to develop real work skills.

At the moment Calderdale College offers a T Level qualification in:

  • Business
  • Health
  • Digital
  • Creative Media
  • Engineering
  • Construction

How to get involved

Chat to us! Our dedicated Industry Placement Officers work in partnership with local employers who seek to host students from the college, to support them with gaining practical “hands on” work experience in an environment linked to the content of their college course.

In turn, T Level students offer up a transformative attitude, bringing in new working methods, creative ideas and a solid understanding of their chosen subject.

Interested? To find out more about how a Calderdale College student can help transform your business, get in touch today! Email us on [email protected]

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