A trailblazing new website is set to put Oldham's talented youngsters at the cutting edge of the latest – and future – developments in post-16 education and career options.
Technical Education Oldham – going live today at Teched.oldham.ac.uk – is designed to give clear pathways to joining the next generation of key workers in the Construction and Digital industry sectors.
The site reflects the fast-changing nature of post-16 education and reforms that are now significantly transforming young people’s options after GCSEs.
It is the first in the country to be based on the Government’s new 15 Occupational Maps which set out all routes into skilled employment, and will be the basis of all future Careers Education, Information Advice and Guidance (CEIAG).
These were designed in partnership with modern–day employers and demonstrate a wealth of new opportunities, including some job titles which were, until recently, almost unheard of.
Technical Education Oldham is putting local young people ahead of the curve by helping them to clearly understand the new routes for progression – and how occupations at different levels link together through a range of new resources.
Learners can use the site’s Careers Explorer function, for example, to work out what option best suits them based on where and how they prefer to work, plus their areas of interest, skillset and qualifications, and salary aspirations.
The site will also become an invaluable tool for parents, guardians and careers leaders in local schools, including up-to-date information and insight into apprenticeships, and access to the new T Level courses, which launch in September.
Access is free and the site is regularly updated to reflect local opportunities and provision available now through work-related education and training providers – and in the future.
It is the result of a partnership between Oldham College, Oldham Council, the Department for Education, the Gatsby Foundation and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, and it is envisaged that the site will expand to cover the 15 Occupational Maps across all career areas.
Alun Francis, Oldham College Principal, said: “Oldham College is proud to be launching something that will be an enormous help to young people, and their parents and teachers, in making the right choices of what to study when leaving school.
"Far too many young people finish GCSEs and think their only options are A levels or BTECS as a stepping stone to a degree. For some this route works, but many end up disappointed later on in life. There are too many young people highly qualified, but in the wrong things, and this has to change.
"There are new qualifications specifically aimed at encouraging young people to study technical subjects, because these are more relevant to future careers and work. This site helps them easily explore these options and see exactly how and where they could take them. It includes case studies, details about local employment and companies, similar roles, progression routes into future employment and much more.
"There’s no other resource of this kind and it’s available to Oldham’s talented young people now – before other web-based careers resources, careers library reference books and advice are updated to reflect these new options and pathways.
"We were the first college in Greater Manchester to achieve a new set of standards for careers advice and information and will be one of the first to offer a full range of the new technical qualifications. We are totally committed to making sure that local young people understand these new opportunities and make the best of their talents."
Councillor Sean Fielding, Oldham Council Leader and GMCA Lead for Employment, Skills and Digital, said: "As identified in the Greater Manchester Local Industrial Strategy, technical skills are essential to drive forward the ambitious plans to ensure the Greater Manchester economy, and therefore its residents, prosper as we aim to recover from these challenging times.
"This newly-launched website, alongside the occupational maps, will allow the young people of Oldham to identify technical education routes that offer great progression into high-quality careers through T Levels and Apprenticeships.
"Colleagues at GMCA are delighted to have been able to support our Oldham partners with this exciting project aimed at getting young people to consider technical education as a direct route into skilled employment."
Education Minister, Michelle Donlan MP, getting a personal preview of the new Oldham Technical Education website on a recent visit to Oldham College, pictured before social distancing measures were introduced with Oldham College Assistant Principal Alan Benvie (left) and Principal Alun Francis.