With just a year to go before the first T Levels are taught, the Government has today (7 October) ramped up its preparations by launching a nationwide campaign so that young people can take advantage of these pioneering new qualifications and get a head start in their careers.
T Levels are high-quality, technical equivalents to world-class A levels. The new courses have been co-created with leading employers, including the Bank of England, the British Army, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Fujitsu, and award-winning hairdresser Lee Stafford so that they provide the knowledge and skills industry need and will set more young people on a path to a rewarding job, an apprenticeship or university.
The ‘NexT Level’ campaign will feature across social media, on-demand television, posters and other digital platforms. There will also be a new website so that young people preparing to take their GCSEs next summer, and starting to consider their next steps, will have all the information they need to choose the path that is right for them.
The Government has also published its latest T Level Action Plan today which confirms the details of the remaining 15 T Levels – to be introduced from 2022 and 2023 – as well as the selection criteria for providers wishing to deliver T Levels in 2022.
Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, said:
T Levels are a complete game changer – high-quality technical courses that will give young people a head start in their careers and that will rival top performing technical education systems like those offered in Germany.
With less than a year to go before the first T Levels are taught, we want to make sure young people and their parents know all about the brilliant opportunities these new qualifications will offer. Our new campaign will help make sure they have all the info they need.
I’m also pleased to confirm the details of the final 15 T Levels that will be taught from 2022 and 2023, in vital sectors like agriculture, manufacturing and legal, which completes the suite of 25 new courses that will be rolled out over the next four years.
There will be 25 T Levels in total which are being phased in over the next four years. The first three T Levels in Digital, Education and Childcare and Construction will be taught from September 2020 at selected schools, colleges and other further education providers across England. An additional seven will be rolled out from 2021, which includes three in Health and Science.
T Levels in Legal, Finance & Accounting, Engineering & Manufacturing and Business & Administration will be introduced from 2022. From 2023, T Levels in Agriculture, Environmental and Animal Care, Creative and Design, Hair and Beauty and Catering and Hospitality will also be available.
New guidance for T Level providers who will offer the T Level Transition Programme has also been published. The programme is designed to help young people, who may not be quite ready, get the support they need to progress onto T Levels and subsequently to fulfilling careers.
Award winning hairdresser, Lee Stafford, said:
The Hair and Beauty industry has been crying out for a qualification that recognises talented young people and offers high quality on-the-job training.
The new T Levels, which I helped to develop, give students the time and skills they need to be job ready and have a successful career.
Dr Elaine Cloutman-Green, Clinical Lecturer Infection Prevention and Control, Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, UCL:
Deciding which degree to choose can be challenging, especially when young people aren’t always aware of the job routes available to them. The new Healthcare T Level – which I helped to develop – prioritises the skills the NHS needs so that students are prepared for work as well as higher education.
By offering students insight into roles such as a Healthcare Scientist, they are offered the opportunity to progress in a highly sought after vocation that’s right for them.
Sir Gerry Berragan, Chief Executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, said:
We are extremely excited about launching T Levels that will provide a gold standard of technical education on par with A Levels.
The Institute fully supports this campaign. It’s important that potential students and their parents are aware that they will be rolled out from next academic year. We know that many young people are looking for an exciting alternative to the academic route and want to start training for their chosen careers after completing their GCSEs.
T Levels will be two-year courses equivalent to three A levels. They will combine classroom theory and practical learning and will be available to 16-19 years olds who have completed their GCSEs. A unique part of a T Level is the completion of a high-quality industry placement of at least 315 hours (or around 45 days) or so that students can build the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in a workplace environment.
The government recently announced a £400 million boost for the further education sector - the biggest injection of new money in a single year since 2010. This is in addition to the funding previously committed to support the sector to deliver T Levels – rising to half a billion pounds when T Levels are all fully rolled out. This significant increase in FE funding next year means T Level providers will benefit from even more cash to deliver high-quality courses from 2020.
Part of the funding being made available by the Government to deliver T Levels is a £20 million investment to help prepare the further education sector for the introduction of the new courses. This includes the £8 million T Level Professional Development offer which is already helping teachers and staff prepare for the roll-out of the new qualifications and the £5 million Taking Teaching Further programme which aims to attract industry experts to work in the sector. Up to £60 million was also invested in 2018 to 2019 through the Industry Placement Capacity and Delivery Fund to support further education providers to be ready to deliver high-quality industry placements as part of T Levels.
UCAS also recently confirmed that T Levels will attract points equivalent to three A levels. This means young people, parents and employers can be confident T Levels will be just as stretching as their academic equivalents and will offer students the option of progressing to the next level, whether that is a job, higher technical training, a degree or an apprenticeship.