£2.4m funding boost for college ahead of agriculture T Levels
By Sarah Wood
Hartpury College will receive almost £1 million in government funding to develop key facilities and a further £1.4m to purchase specialist equipment, ahead of launching three new agriculture T Levels in 2024.
This latest wave of capital funding investment, announced by the Department for Education, will be used to refurbish two agricultural engineering workshops at Hartpury's Gloucestershire campus and purchase new cutting-edge industry-standard equipment.
Hartpury College will launch its initial T Levels in land-based engineering, crop production and livestock production in 2024-25, with the workshop refurbishment due to complete before the arrival of the first cohort of students.
T Levels in animal management/ science and equine subject areas will follow in future years, as they become available nationally.
T Levels are technical qualifications introduced as a new two-year post-GCSE option to prepare students going into skilled employment. Students enrolled on the agriculture T Level programmes will benefit from a comprehensive blend of theoretical and applied learning, spending 80% of their time in academic study at Hartpury and the other 20% - at least 45 days - carrying out practical work-based training each year.
The programmes help students to hone their technical skills before entering the workplace or progressing onto further study.
Claire Whitworth, deputy principal of Hartpury College, said: "We're grateful for the Government's recognition of our expertise and commitment to advancing vocational training and are delighted to have been successful in securing a share of this UK-wide T Level investment funding.
"By using the funding to refurbish two agricultural engineering workshops, it'll help us to deliver unparalleled technical education to our students, equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed to forge successful careers and meet the many challenges faced by the agricultural industry. They will also provide opportunities for industry use outside of term time.
"We're always looking to align our curriculum with industry needs and remain poised to contribute to the growth and success of the agricultural sector in Gloucestershire and beyond."
Robert Halfon, minister for skills, apprenticeships and higher education, said: "This boost of over £100 million (across the sector) is our latest investment in T Levels. These are robust, high quality technical qualifications providing a unique ladder of opportunity for students to gain both classroom knowledge and on-the-job experience."
T Level students at Hartpury College will also benefit from facilities such as the Agriculture Digital Studio, launched in May 2023. The studio is a dedicated student - employee - industry facing space where future technologies in agriculture can be explored through agriculture simulators and VR headsets.
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