Technical education: work placement funding
Information for institutions on the allocation of work placement funding from April 2018.
On 6 July Education Secretary Justine Greening confirmed a £50 million investment from April 2018 to fund high quality work placements, a key component of every T level, to help prepare young people for skilled work. A commitment was made last summer through the Post-16 skills plan that all 16 to 19 students following a new technical education route will be entitled to a substantial work placement to arm them with the technical skills that they need to give them the best possible chance for entering skilled employment.
Work placements will form an integral part of the new ‘T levels’. A student will not be able to obtain their T level certificate unless they have undertaken a work placement. We expect work placements to be in an external setting (typically around 3 months) with clearly defined aims and objectives. The work placement will need to be occupationally specific to ensure young people secure the workplace behaviours and the technical skills relevant to the occupation that they are studying towards.
We recognise this will be a significant step change for the sector. That is why we are providing this information now and why, at the Spring Budget, we announced a £500 million per year investment in ‘T levels’, with a significant proportion allocated to support providers in the delivery of work placements.
This funding will be available to providers currently delivering the technical programmes we expect could evolve over time to T levels. After the summer, we will communicate which providers will be eligible for this funding. Funding will be available from 2018 to 2019 financial year, to boost providers’ in-house capacity in order that they can begin putting in place the infrastructure and resources needed to deliver substantial work placements. This could include for example, hiring dedicated work placement co-ordinators, additional resource to allow time for technical subject tutors/teachers to be involved in setting up work placements, dedicating resource to strengthen employer links and preparing students for work placements.
When we will set out which providers are eligible for this funding, we will invite these providers to submit an Implementation Plan that outlines their intentions to step up to this challenge and set out how the available funding will be used during the 2018 to 2019 academic year. This will be an opportunity to describe how the funding would be used to support short-term and longer-term plans for expanding work placement provision to meet the future demand for T level delivery. Funding will be subject to the submission of a complete Implementation Plan.
We will also issue guidance in September setting out details about our expectations for work placements, the assessment criteria for the completed Implementation Plan template and more information about the funding formula we will use to calculate and allocate the funding.
We hope that eligible providers will take full advantage of this offer to ensure that they can give their students high quality work placements, which will give them the best possible preparation and skills for the career that they aspire to.
To support the sector to prepare for and implement substantial work placements, the Department for Education (DfE) will be allocating funds to institutions/providers from the allocated £50 million in the 2018 to 2019 financial year. We expect the majority of funding will be used on building capacity with a commitment to commence an agreed number of work placements early to help ensure that the sector is ready.
This funding is set to increase over the period to 2020 to 2021 financial year as we expect the number of placements to increase.
One of the conditions of securing this funding is that all eligible institutions must complete and return an implementation plan. The DfE will need to be satisfied institutions have a complete plan in place before funding will be released.
Completed implementation plans should include how institutions will make the best use of the funds in both the long term and short term including the number of work placements you have already arranged for your learners and how many more additional work placements this funding would help arrange. We would also want to know how this additional funding would lead to a better quality of work placements for students and how you will collaborate locally with other institutions and colleges to help deliver high quality work placements.
To ensure funding is allocated accurately and on time, the DfE have set out below the key dates for delivering work placement funding:
|September 2017||The DfE to communicate with all eligible institutions and publish guidance|
|End of October 2017||Proposed implementation plans submitted from institutions|
|Early November – mid December 2017||The DfE reviews the implementation plans|
|End December 2017||Notify successful institutions of outcome and ask any institutions with incomplete implementation plans to re-submit|
|End of January 2018||Final deadline for completed implementation plans back to the DfE|
|End of February 2018||Re-submitted plans reviewed|
|End February 2018||Finalise allocation amounts for each provider|
|End February 2018||Write to institutions confirming allocations|
|Early March 2018||Institutions build the work placement funding offer into their funding strategies|
|April-June 2018||First funding released to institutions|
|Autumn 2018||First placements delivered|
We will be working with sector bodies over the summer and refining our approach. We will then be contacting eligible institutions in scope for this funding in September 2017. Institutions will then be asked to complete an implementation plan (guidance will be provided). Completed implementation plans will be required by the end of October 2017.
Further details are not available until we issue the September guidance. However, we would welcome your questions, comments or concerns. Please contact us using our online form
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