Aakifah Alli has had aspirations to become a midwife since Year 10 and chose the Health & Science (supporting the midwifery team) T level as the first step on her career journey.
T levels are relatively new and when she first considered what to study, Aakifah wasn’t aware of the T level option.
“I didn’t know much about T levels when I applied and initially applied for the Health and Social Care course but before my interview, I was told about the T levels and decided to choose the midwifery T level course. I picked the T level, rather than the BTEC, due to the placement aspect of the technical qualification.”
T levels are based on the same standards as apprenticeships, designed by employers with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education to make sure young people under 19 develop the knowledge and skills required by employers after their GCSEs. T levels were perfect for Aafikh as she wanted a work placement, as well as a technical qualification.
“I chose T levels because they are career-based. I’ve known that I want to be a midwife since Year 10 and everything I learnt was specifically to do with midwifery.”
T level students spend around 80% of their time in the classroom and 20% on a work placement. Leicester College helps students to find their work placements, which are for at least 45 days. Aafikah particularly enjoyed her work placements and described them as the highlight of her course.
“I did two placements – one at Spoilt for Choice for the core part of the qualification, and for the specific part I did it with Leicester Mamas. My placement co-ordinator helped me and I found my placement around a month or two after starting the course, so it was pretty easy to find.
T levels offer a good balance of time spent studying and time spent in the workplace, and the hours can be completed in different ways.
“There are blocks in the second year so you get around two weeks where you get to do all of your hours, and during the first year each week, you get two days where you do your placement.
“The balance between working and studying was pretty easy to do because the work placement hours are flexible and you get used to it after a while.”
Preparing for the future
“Now that I’ve completed the course, I feel good. I’m ready to start and take the next step. I’ve improved my confidence and communication skills massively during the course. It’s taught me how to react in the world of work, how to be ready for the world of work.
“I’d definitely recommend T levels. They help prepare you to go to university and understand the career that you want to do early on, rather than later when you’re about to go into work.”
On to university
Aakifah will apply to university to become a qualified midwife and thinks that the T levels have given her a good starting point.
“I hope to go into higher education so go to university and hopefully after that, become a qualified midwife. For the first year of university, I’ll already have a lot of knowledge that I gained from the T level course that I can use to help me with placements and learning in general.”