Voiceover: T Levels are one of the biggest reforms to England's technical education system in a generation. Launched in September 2020 each T level includes a substantial industry placement benefiting both the young person and the employer. Employers across England are gaining early access to new talent entering their sector. Whilst young people are gaining the skills, knowledge and attitude to excel in their careers.
Bruce Casalis: Bruce's Doggy Day Care, the best way to think about what we do is like a children's nursery but for dogs.
Ben Mann: So we employ just over 70 people now. And we look after just over 400 dogs a day.
Jo Godsmark: We've been specifically involved with students that are studying animal management, grooming qualifications, also apprenticeships. We work with colleges very closely. Before we've even taken on a student, we get the colleges, I invite them to come down so that they can see the day care centre, they can meet some of the team, and they can see what we're kind of doing on our site. We design placements specifically for the students, that they have a full experience when they are with us at the day care centre. We ask them to go into the fields, we ask them to spend some time in our grooming area, we ask them to spend some time in our office.
Ben: The work begins before they arrive. They're treated exactly like any other employee, so they will go through a fairly intense two to three week induction process, just like anyone else.
Amy: At the start of my placement I had two trial days, one at Cobham and one at this site, and then they placed me here. And then I was buddied with someone for a week or two.
Jo: We also have a buddy system where new students are buddied up with a current employee. They can then lean on them if they need to know anything or there's specific challenges that they have. Amy: My work, compared to the full-time staff here, is pretty much the same. We do the same duties, we have the same roles.
Sabrina Roberts: We get the right sort of students by looking for people that are not just interested in animals, but they're hardworking, they can work outdoors, they're interested in the behaviour side, the management of dogs.
Jo: One of the big things that we look for in students is their values, that they have the same values as our organisation. We have had specific challenges with students coming to work for us, but those challenges have mostly been around the fact that they didn't know what to expect. They had learned theory but had no practical in terms of how to apply it in our workplace. So we had to work specifically with them, bringing them up to speed on what we do, almost putting that theory into practise.
Bruce: Our organisation has benefited from being involved with these placements because we're seeing the best of the brightest coming through that are eager to learn. By us taking the lead and people seeing what we're doing, that then encourages others to look at that and say, "Oh, actually, that's something that could work "for us as well." Which I think is an important role for us to play.
Jo: Students have contributed hugely to our organisation, one, from actually helping us to take a step back and look at how things are done. It's helped us to be more methodical in our induction process and how we train our current staff. You have a B-line into actually working with the colleges, working with the students, to shape the content and shape what you teach them. So when they go into the industry, and hopefully they would come back to you as well, so essentially your recruitment budget would go down, you essentially are providing and shaping the future of your own industry.
Bruce: The important thing is to look at it as an opportunity and appreciate the impact that young people can have if given that opportunity, and understanding how they can flourish and then really actually add value to your business.