BTec students expect results “full of hope for the future”

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Anyone who leaves college, school or university and hopes to work this summer faces an uncertain job market, with the economy seeing the biggest drop in employment in a decade.

But are some careers more “pandemic proof” than others?

Twenty-year-old BTec student Harry Baker certainly hopes so.

He studied for a BTec Level 3 in Health and Social Care at Sheffield College, and hopes to earn three stars of distinction and go to Sheffield Hallam University to study Biomedical Sciences.

“I hope to work in some sort of laboratory to do disease research, and I imagine the laboratory work will be much more concentrated in the future.

Harry says his course meant he had to complete assessed modules throughout the two years of study, which made it a “very hands-on learning method.”

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Harry Baker

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Harry hopes to research diseases in his future career


When it comes to results day, he thinks that continuous assessment throughout his course means that students like him “have less pressure than those doing A-levels, because we are doing assessments all the time.” and have a good idea of ​​what we’ll get. “.

Health and social services is one of the topics seeing an increase in demands for the next year, according to staff at Barking and Dagenham College in Essex.

The increase in course requests includes:

  • health and social services, up 56% from last year
  • electrical installation, up 15%
  • finance, up 74%

Antonela Rosewarne, 18, a student from Barking and Dagenham, has just completed her first year of her Level 3 BTec in public service in college and believes her best chance of getting her dream job in the fire department is to continue to study and do the second or “extended” year.

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Antonela Rosewarne

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Antonela participated in a team-building expedition before the pandemic


When the lockdown began, his tutors worked hard to get the course online as best they could. Parts of it have worked well, especially citizenship, psychology, criminology and diversity of training.

But the course also focuses on team building, communication, and fitness, taught through team sports, trekking expeditions, and gym work, and tutors couldn’t not doing much except advising students to maintain physical fitness by walking or running.

“I was pretty stressed at first,” she says.

“Much of the course is hands-on, so I was worried about how it was going to be when we couldn’t do the hands-on activities. “

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She says lacking so much in the practical side of the course “holds back success”, as teamwork and communication in particular “are key skills for people wishing to work in public services.”

But despite the coronavirus, she is optimistic about the future: “There are going to be a lot of changes with Covid-19, but I’m excited to meet new people and do new things. “

What are BTecs?

BTecs are professional courses designed to develop practical skills – subjects like business, sports, health and social services are popular.

They are awarded by a private organization, the Pearson Education and Training Company.

About 20% of university students in England are accepted after studying BTecs only, and 10% are accepted into higher education with a combination of A-levels and BTecs.

They can be taken by any age group – in fact, most are taken by people over the age of 22, and research by the Social Market Foundation has found these qualifications to be particularly popular among college students. working class whites.

While England, Wales and Northern Ireland have BTecs, Scotland has their own Scottish professional qualifications.

There are other professional qualifications available – such as City and Guilds and Cambridge Technicals offered by OCR – offering a wide range of courses.

How are the new T-levels integrated?

Changes are underway in the world of vocational training, with in September the introduction of a new qualification in England – the technical level or T – in subjects such as accounting, catering, finance, hairdressing and beauty and workmanship.

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T-level courses will be available to students after GCSEs and will be equivalent to three A-levels – with a star distinction equivalent to three A’s at A-level.

T-levels are being phased in at some colleges in England and will run in conjunction with other qualifications such as BTecs.


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