Trailblazing teenager's dream to work on Sizewell C by studying new course

Sam Corneby is one of the first students to be taking the T-Level qualification. The Suffolk New Col

Sam Corneby, with dad Ian, is one of the first students in the UK to study for a T Level - Credit: Charlotte Bond

A Woodbridge teenager has become one of the first students to study the new T Level qualification - which he hopes will allow him to follow his father's footsteps working in construction.

Pioneering Suffolk New College student Sam Corneby, 18, made the decision not to go to university after his A Levels, which were disrupted last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead, he decided to "go in with an open mind" and start studying for a T Level qualification in design, surveying and planning for construction.

Sam Corneby is one of the first students to be taking the T-Level qualification. The Suffolk New Col

The Suffolk New College student opted against studying at university - Credit: Charlotte Bond

T Levels, which were only introduced last year, are two-year courses equivalent to three A Levels.

Students studying for the qualification spend 80% of their time in a classroom or workshop environment, but are also required to undertake an on-the-job work placement for at least 45 days. T Levels are equivalent to three A levels, and also give UCAS Points for students who are looking to study at university.

Sam said he was inspired to work in construction by his dad Ian, who is a senior project manager in nuclear decommissioning for Magnox Sites, working in conjunction with EDF at Sizewell.


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His granddad was involved with the construction of the original Sizewell A nuclear power station.

Sam believes his T Level will be his best route into securing employment in the sector when he finishes the course, as he found not many companies were willing to take on apprentices during the Covid-19 crisis.

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He said one of his ambitions is to work in the development of the proposed Sizewell C project, which is being considered by the government.

Sam Corneby is one of the first students to be taking the T-Level qualification. The Suffolk New Col

Sam's family has a history of working in construction - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Sam said: "I just generally didn't want to go to university. With this new qualification, I thought I would go in with an open mind and see if I liked it or not.

"With the T Level, you have all these practical and theory elements - but then you have this course to get some work experience behind you.

"I did look at a few apprenticeships, but nothing was really certain.

"I have a great role model in my dad. He is part of the decommissioning team working at our local power station.

"I’m hoping after I finish my T Level course to be part of the construction and commissioning process of another aspect of the nuclear power station - Sizewell C. The interest in this area runs in the family really."

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