Middlesbrough College T-Level students join the Sofia team

To date six students have been able to gain their valuable work experience on the Sofia construction site in Redcar.

Working with local college to deliver skills

A total of six T-Level students from Middlesbrough College have so far been able to be part of the Sofia project’s onshore construction works.

Sofia and our onshore contractors including: Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK, Kier Infrastructure and J. Murphy & Sons (JMS), have worked with the College to place students interested in a career in construction or engineering.

T-Levels are a technical qualification which includes core skills, theory, and concepts for the industry area. They are designed by employers and based on the same standards as apprenticeships, offering around 1,800 hours of study over two years. A key element of them is a 45-day work placement, which is where Sofia and our contractors have been able to provide support.

The first placement was Dean Whitelock (pictured), 18, from near Stockton on Tees, who has ambitions for a career as a quantity surveyor. His 340-hour industry placement with Jones Bros gave him the chance to work alongside experienced staff and see how the knowledge picked up in the classroom relates to the reality.

Dean said: “I did so much. I was out most of the day with the site engineers, operating GPS equipment and setting out works for plant operators according to plans.

“When something is mentioned in classes, I can visualise why it’s important. In a lot of cases, I’ll have already seen it in the flesh too.”

To date Kier Infrastructure has placed two additional students, Sofia has started with one and JMS is set with two further young people, all keen to get into the construction sector.

Yvonne Short, T- Level Work Placement Learning Co-ordinator at Middlesbrough College said the support of industry was vital for the success of the T-Level programme.

“I am really pleased that the Sofia project has already provided invaluable placements to local students as it is it both integral to their course and also to their personal and professional development.”

“We’re delighted to work with organisations such as Sofia, and not only help our students, but also support them as a business to generate a pipeline of future talent.”

As the project continues there will be further opportunities for more T-Level placements, which benefit the students and also the Sofia project, its contractors and the wider offshore wind sector. The placements are a key way companies and businesses can support the development of their potential future workforce.


July 2022