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Employment Minister and Skills Minister to Speak at Employment and Skills Convention 2020
July 6, 2020
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New Package of Support for T Level Industry Placements

A new package of support to help employers and FE providers deliver high-quality industry placements which are at the heart of pioneering new T Level qualifications have been announced (Friday 3 July) by Gillian Keegan, Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships.

Engineering industry placement

T Levels – high-quality technical alternatives equivalent to three A Levels – have been created in collaboration with industry experts so students gain the skills they need to succeed in the workplace and so businesses can access the workforce they need to thrive.

A unique part of a T Level will be the completion of a high-quality industry placement – of at least 315 hours, or approximately 45 days – where students will build the knowledge and skills and develop the confidence they need in a workplace environment.

Two new reports published today highlight that providers have found that the government’s Capacity and Delivery Fund (CDF) has made a really positive impact, giving them the opportunity to recruit staff to start preparing for the delivery of T Level industry placements, establish the right infrastructure and procedures within their organisations and to build strong relationships with local employers. Employers also reported that they appreciated the flexibility of the different placement models published last year which made it easier for them to host learners on placements.

The package of support announced today will build on this, helping to make sure employers and FE providers can offer really high quality placements when they start delivering T Levels. It includes:

  • New guidance setting out the key roles and responsibilities for providers and employers, and a new guide for students to help them prepare for their placement, with hands on support and advice so everyone can get the best experience possible.
  • Additional delivery models for employers and providers including new models for the way industry placements can be delivered in the Construction and Engineering & Manufacturing routes, to reflect modern practices, and allowing Capacity and Delivery Fund placements to be delivered over two academic years, to bring them in line with T Levels, with a reduced delivery target of 25% for the 2020/21 academic year, to reflect the impact of the coronavirus on employers.
  • In recognition of the impact of coronavirus on employers, the government will extend the Employer Support Fund pilot, launched in September 2019, to offer financial support to employers in selected regions where funding is a barrier to them hosting high-quality industry placements. The Employer Support Package, a suite of online guidance, case studies and workshops to help employers to host high-quality industry placements, will also continue: and
  • The government will also procure an organisation with the appropriate expertise to support 2020, 2021 and 2022 providers to help them deliver high-quality placements in line with the delivery guidance.

Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills said:

Industry placements will give young people invaluable first-hand experience of the workplace that they wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere, that is what makes T Levels unique and why they are at the centre of our ambitious plans to transform technical education.

These placements will not only boost student’s confidence and knowledge but will also provide employers with a pipeline of skilled workers for the future, something that will be more important than ever as we recover from coronavirus.

With this new package we are supporting businesses and providers so they are able to give students access to the best possible experiences and ensure all placements are high-quality from the start, so we can set up the next generation for success.

The first three T Levels in Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction, Digital Production, Design and Development and Education and Childcare will be taught from September 2020 with more rolled out gradually between 2021 and 2023. The new qualifications will play a key part in rebuilding the economy after the coronavirus outbreak, boosting access to high-quality technical education for thousands of young people so they can progress to the next level, whether that is getting a job, going on to further study or an apprenticeship.

The government is investing significantly in technical education and training including T Levels. Last year the Chancellor announced an additional £400 million boost for 16 to 19 education in 2020-21, including funding to support the first T Level providers to deliver high-quality courses. A further £133 million will also be invested to ensure students have access to industry standard equipment and high-quality facilities.

Bruce Boughton, People Development Manager, Lovell Partnerships said:

With the ongoing skills shortages in both the construction trades and professions, industry placements give us a chance to see and work with young people as a shortcut in the recruitment process. Having spent nearly three months working with us, they are already part of the team and understand the company and how we work.

Cian Short, Group Apprentice Manager, Bakkavor said:

T Levels have the potential to greatly improve technical education in the UK. With more focus being placed on ‘on the job’ experience through the industry placements, employers will be receiving students who are far better prepared, either to go straight into a role or to join a Higher or Degree Apprenticeship.

For more information on T Levels and industry placements, visit https://www.tlevels.gov.uk/employers

More Than 1 Million Young People Could be Jobless by 2021, Think Tank Warns
July 6, 2020
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Youth unemployment could top one million by the end of the year – highlighting the scale of the jobs crisis facing an entire generation of young people, a new report warns.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) think tank estimated that an extra 620,000 people aged between 18 and 24 will be jobless by the end of the year, on top of the 410,000 already unemployed.

This will be the highest number of young people unemployed on record, surpassing the levels seen in the 2008-9 and 1990s recessions, said the report.

This level of youth unemployment should be a major cause for concern, according to the IPPR, as being out of work at an early age can cause serious “scarring effects” on people’s life chances including lower wages, increased risk of further unemployment and worse health into later life.

A £3bn government intervention was needed to ensure everyone under the age of 25 is in education, training, apprenticeship or a job, said the report.

Harry Quilter-Pinner, IPPR senior research fellow, said: “We face an unemployment crisis in the UK. Our analysis suggests youth unemployment could more than double by the end of the year. This would be a huge waste of talent and potential. It doesn’t have to be like this.

“That’s why we are calling on the government to step in to guarantee all young people either a funded place in education, an apprenticeship or a job.

“This will require the state to support businesses to take on young people, just as it has supported them to retain adults through the furlough scheme.”

A government spokesperson said: “We are doing everything we can to protect our economy and ensure there are options for young people, with the Opportunity Guarantee announced earlier this week ensuring every young person has a chance of an apprenticeship or in-work placement.

“Alongside our package of support for business, our nationwide network of Work Coaches are already matching jobseekers to new roles as we get Britain back working again. The National Careers Service is also providing help and advice to young people who have been furloughed, made redundant or had their exams cancelled.”