Investing in the workforce of the future

Supporting young talent through apprenticeship opportunities and T-level placements 

There are many different routes into employment – some choose a purely academic route, studying for a qualification before entering the workforce, while others opt for an apprenticeship to gain both ‘on the job’ and ‘off the job’ training. 

Most recently, we’ve seen the introduction of T-levels, two-year courses equivalent to 3 A-levels developed in collaboration with employers and businesses that offer a mix of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience through a work placement. Several awarding organisations which are part of the Surpass Community are already leading the way in the development of the qualifications that sit at the heart of T-level delivery.  

The Surpass Team at BTL is delighted to be working with a local college to provide work placements that account for 20% for the learners’ time for T-level qualifications, the other 80% being classroom learning.   

Shipley College in West Yorkshire was one of the first colleges in the UK to offer the new T-levels, and is an approved provider of several qualifications including ‘Digital Production, Design and Development’ which the Surpass Team will be supporting.  

‘T Levels are new qualifications designed to help Employers find and develop new talent. We are delighted to be working with the Surpass team at BTL to do exactly that! We are grateful they are keen to invest time in our young people, to develop Bradford’s future digital workforce’.

Heather Savage, Head of Business and Computing, Shipley College  

The Surpass Team has long since recognised the importance of supporting young adults in the early stages of their career, and actively invests in the future workforce and local community. 

Patrick Butlin, IT Administrator for the Surpass Team at BTL, joined the company as an apprentice in 2017, providing IT support to more than 150 employees. During his time with BTL, Patrick has completed his Level 3 ‘Infrastructure Technician’ qualification and Level 4 ‘Network Engineer’ qualification. With a professional attitude and hunger for learning, Patrick has been a valuable part of the team since day one, and was a finalist at the 2019 Bradford Means Business Awards in the ‘Apprentice of the Year’ category. 

‘The main reason I decided to go down the apprenticeship route in the first place was because I’d finished college and wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do…I wanted to work and learn so an apprenticeship made an obvious choice for me…working at BTL it’s a wide range of different tasks…so it’s been a really nice fit.’ 

Patrick Butlin, IT Administrator, Surpass Team at BTL 

The hands-on nature of the role at BTL made it a perfect fit for Patrick, and he has now chosen to continue with BTL as a full-time employee, whilst continuing his education with the Open University in his spare time. 

Patrick is a fantastic example of how businesses such as BTL can support the workforce of tomorrow, and how in doing so organisations can develop and discover valuable, talented employees. The Surpass Team at BTL look forward to providing valuable work experience for more learners in the future. 

You can hear more from Patrick on his decision to go down the apprenticeship route, and his journey so far, in this short podcast.