“There’s a lot we can learn in the campus workshops but there’s different learning capabilities in a workplace setting”
James attended many open days before he started college – speaking to tutors and touring facilities and found that Barking & Dagenham College was the best for plumbing. James liked the fact that the teachers and students he interacted with at the open day knew what they were doing and cared about his career aspects. The facilities at BDC are also one of the reasons he felt attending was the best route for him.
During his time on the Plumbing T Level course, James has really enjoyed the mix of learning between practical and theory. James started his journey in entry level plumbing and has moved his way through to the brand-new T Level qualification. James says: “The T Levels course has been more challenging which really pushes me. There were a lot of elements I didn’t know coming into the course, so it has really built up my confidence”.
T Levels: are a brand-new next level 2-year qualification that you can do as an alternative to A Levels. In the 2 years, you’ll spend 80% of the time in the classroom and 20% on a 45-day placement with an employer, to provide the skills and knowledge companies look for. James says he has really enjoyed his work placement and loves the learning differences from campus workshops to his workplace placement. James’ work has given him plenty of opportunities, including autonomy and independence in jobs, allowing him to grow, personally and professionally.
After James has finished his T Levels qualification, he would like to complete a Higher National Certificate (HNC) or a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Site Management or Project Management.
Overall, James has had a great student experience and highly appreciates the support he has received from his teachers over the years.
“I would tell anyone thinking about studying at Barking & Dagenham College to make sure you know and understand all the options and opportunities available. You could have your mind set on one course but by researching other areas, especially in similar career areas, you could find something that’s better suited to your aspirations. That’s what happened to me with my current course – I was going to progress into Level 3 plumbing and then found T Levels. There are so many more options now.”