Telford College health students have been kitted out with smart new uniforms for their first T-Level work placements.

More than 20 students from the college have started their initial work placement shifts this week, taking on roles at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

T-Levels are a new, more hands-on alternative to A levels, with a focus on developing vocational skills. Students spend 20% of their study time in a meaningful industry placement to put their skills into action.

Sarah Davies, director of health and social care at Telford College, said: “We’re really excited to see the first of our T-Level health cohorts out on placement.

“Eventually, as the T-Level programme progresses, they will be on rotation and get chance to work not only at our local hospitals, but out in the community as well.

“The uniforms have been carefully selected in partnership with the NHS, working in collaboration with other partner colleges to standardise the design.

“It means that all of our students have an official white uniform for their placements, with fob watches and pockets for their pens - clearly identified as a Telford College student, but being made to feel part of the team.”

Among the students on placement this week are Lilian Gyamfi and Stephany Ansah Jacob, who both switched from the sixth form at Abraham Darby School onto a T-Level at Telford College.

Stephany, who hopes to become a midwife, said: “I’ve been really excited about the placement, because it will give me an overview of the hospital environment and the equipment I am going to be working on.

“We changed from sixth form to T-Levels because we figured out the qualifications would give us more opportunity to go to a good university with healthcare specialisms.”

Midwifery is also one of Lilian’s options, after an initial career in general nursing. She said: “The facilities here at Telford College are similar to those which you find in a hospital, which makes it very easy for us to get to know what is in store.

“I didn’t know much about T-Levels before coming here, but I’ve found it is perfect for what I need.”

Also out on placement from Telford College this week are former Charlton School student Callum McCarthy, and Joel Sanjeev who arrived in Telford from India a year ago.

Callum said: “I felt the T-Level programme was a much more accessible way of getting onto the career path that I wanted in the healthcare sector – I’m looking at nursing, maybe specialising in paediatrics.

Joel is looking to follow a family tradition – almost half of his family is employed in the healthcare sector.

He said: “I want to be an adult nurse, and felt the T-Level would be more practically-based, so I could get more experience working with patients on hospital wards.”

Telford College has invested £430,000 in the creation of a new Clinical Skills Centre at its Wellington campus, to be used by T-Level health students.

It gives them experience of a realistic clinical environment and includes two ‘skills rooms’ – a four-bed hospital ward, and a two-bed maternity environment.