|Visit the dedicated T Level page on the Amazing Apprenticeships website to access a set of helpful T Level resources for teachers and careers advisers.|
On the page you will find:
Video of Minister Keegan explaining T Levels for students and parents
Presentation (with script) for teachers to explain T Levels to students
Graphical explainer film
A comprehensive Teacher Guide
Wide range of explainer recordings and accompanying presentation slides
Over 9,000 additional places approved at UK universities for courses to deliver vital services and support the economy.
Extra university places for engineering, science and nursing courses have been made available for September, the Universities Minister has announced today.
Michelle Donelan has confirmed that the Government has approved over 9,000 additional places at UK universities for courses that will deliver vital services, support the economy and generate positive outcomes for students and the taxpayer.
As part of the Government’s aim to drive an increase in science and innovation and encourage STEM subject take-up, it has approved more than 1,300 extra university places for engineering courses, 756 places for bio-sciences and almost 500 for maths courses.
A total of 5,611 places for healthcare courses have also been allocated at universities in England to support the NHS, with 3,803 of these additional places going to nursing courses.
Last month the Prime Minister stated that investing in skills is crucial to our economic recovery post-coronavirus.
Today’s announcement will not only help thousands more people gain knowledge that will help them progress in life, but also to help rebuild Britain.
Universities Minister Michelle Donelan said:
The coronavirus will not stop us from boosting growth in vital subjects like science, engineering, and maths.
These courses not only deliver some of the best outcomes for students, they will also be integral to driving innovation, helping our public services and building the skills the country needs.
Bids for extra places were assessed on the quality of each provider, including their rates of continuation and graduate employment outcomes. In total there were 3,859 eligible bids from 38 providers for additional places on courses of strategic importance. All bids that met the set criteria have been accepted.
Bids for healthcare courses in England totalled 5,611 and the Department for Health and Social care have accepted all additional places.
The allocation of places announced today follows the introduction of temporary student number controls, in which institutions were given the opportunity to bid for 10,000 additional places – at least 5,000 for healthcare courses and 5,000 for courses of strategic importance.
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The Department for Education T Levels team has created a new T Level guide for Teachers and Careers Advisers.
This new guide is available to download from the Amazing Apprenticeships site here.
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.
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
The names of a further 88 colleges, training providers and schools chosen to deliver T-levels in the third wave of their rollout have been announced.
They will teach the new post-16 technical qualifications from September 2022 in subjects including law, engineering and manufacturing, and legal, finance and accounting.
A total of 18 T-levels will be delivered from September 2022, which includes the four being rolled out from 2020 and 2021.
The first three T-levels to be taught this September will be in construction, digital production, design and development, and education and childcare, with a further seven including three in health and science taught from 2021.
Eight T-levels in subjects including legal, accounting, management and administration and engineering, manufacturing, processing and control will be taught from 2022.
The providers delivering from 2022 can be found here
Article by the Smaller Employer Engagement Team, Education and Skills Funding Agency.
We have launched a new section of the T Levels website aimed specifically at employers www.tlevels.gov.uk/employers.
This sits alongside the existing pages aimed at students and their influencers.
The focus of the employer section is to inspire employers to get involved with offering industry placements now although there is also general information about T Levels.
Employers will be encouraged to visit the site through targeted social media advertising on LinkedIn and Twitter. This site will continue to develop over the coming months. If you have any comments or suggestions to feed into our planning for the site, please let us know and we’ll pass it on.
You may also have seen T Level posters on bus stops and other sites over the last few weeks. This is part of our second burst of Out of Home advertising aimed at young people close to colleges and schools offering the first T Level courses in September.
#TLevel providers across the country will benefit from a multi-million pound package of support to ensure they are ready to deliver the pioneering new courses, Education Secretary @GavinWilliamson announced on Friday 7 February 2020.
Further education providers delivering T Levels from 2021 to receive a share of £95 million to upgrade buildings and invest in high quality equipment
The government is investing up to £95 million through the T Level Capital Fund so young people taking the new technical qualifications from 2021 will have access to industry standard equipment and high-quality facilities.
The fund will be delivered in two parts:
- Eligible providers can bid for funding to refurbish existing buildings or create new spaces, from today.
- While funding for specialist equipment such as digital and audio-visual kit will be allocated to all providers in Spring next year.
£15 million investment to help boost FE teachers’ skills and expertise so they are ready to teach T Levels
Following a successful first phase, the government is also announcing the expansion of its innovative T Level Professional Development (TLPD), worth £15 million in 2020-21. The programme – which is being delivered by the Education and Training Foundation – provides tailored training and support to boost FE teachers and leader’s skills, industry knowledge and expertise for students to benefit from.
TLPD was first launched in spring 2019 and has already supported thousands of teachers, managers, support staff and governors. The expansion will build on this success by delivering more training to an increased number of providers and across a wider range of T Level subject areas.
Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, said:
“T Levels will play a vital role in our drive to unlock talent and level up skills across the country.
“This cash injection will make sure more T Level providers and their staff are ready to teach the new qualifications, so young people have access to the high-quality teaching, first class facilities and industry standard equipment they need to succeed.”
Pioneering new T Levels will play a vital role in the government’s drive to level up skills and opportunity and build the workforce employers need to thrive
T Levels are high-quality technical alternatives to A Levels, combining classroom theory, practical learning and an industry placement to give students the skills they need to secure a great career and that will provide employers with the skilled workforce they need. The first T Levels in Childcare and Education, Construction and Digital will be first taught from September 2020, with a further seven available from 2021. The remaining 15 T Levels will be launched in 2022 and 2023.
The government has already invested £38 million through the T Level Capital Fund to support post-16 providers to be ready to deliver first three T Levels from this September. Providers including Barnsley College received £2.25 million to improve their SciTech Campus building and create a Digital Innovation Hub (DIH). Exeter College also received £2.5 million to help create a number of new facilities, including a dedicated space for students taking the Construction T Level.
The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) has published its second research report into T-levels reports FE Week.
It follows a roundtable event in October which included six providers due to deliver the new qualifications from September 2020, as well as government and sector body representatives.
The first report, published in June, was based on interviews with half of the first 50 T-level approved providers.
FE Week has pulled out the latest key findings…
1.Providers will have just six months to work out how to teach T-levels
The full specification for T-levels will not be available until March 2020, which leaves just six months for the first three pathways – childcare, digital and construction – to be made ready for teaching, including the summer break.
This was a “cause for concern” among providers and it was commented that while the childcare T-level will need less work to prepare, as it is similar to the CACHE level 3 diploma in childcare and education, the construction and digital pathways “included more content that was completely new for providers”.
2. Major work needed to raise awareness
“Delegates felt there remained significant work to do to raise the awareness and understanding of T-levels among young people, parents and carers, and employers,” the report reads.
This is despite the best efforts of the ‘NexT Level’, a campaign costing the taxpayer over £3 million to help recruit the first wave of learners for T-levels.
Providers said that without the detailed specifications they could not always answer students’ and employers’ more detailed questions about the qualifications.
3. WANTED: Learners for T-levels
Providers were positive about meeting their student recruitment targets, but this was because “they had set conservative targets which they felt were achievable”.
There were, however, concerns regarding school “protectionism” which is making it a struggle to promote T-levels in schools with sixth forms.
And learners could be put off by “the size of the qualification”: young people who rely on part-time jobs or had caring responsibilities would find it difficult to meet the 600 minimum guided learning hours requirement as well as the 315 hour minimum industry placement.
It was brought up that how those 600 hours would be spent, being instructed towards an exam-based assessment, would not attract students looking for workshop-style delivery and continuous assessment.
The question of how learners from rural areas could get transport to class and to their industry placement was also listed as a “concern”.
4. Industry placements need more flexibility
One of the most controversial aspects of T-levels is the requirement for learners to go on a 315-hour industry placement; the previous NFER roundtable found providers were concerned about a lack of viable placements.
Recognising the challenge, the Department for Education introduced flexibilities earlier this year, including allowing the placements to be taken with two different employers.
However, educators have called for further flexibility in what counted towards the industry placement; specifically, they wanted project-based learning and work-related learning to count towards it.
The NFER said: “This would enable the engagement of employers who lacked capacity to support a placement and did not have a physical base,” namely digital businesses.
5. WANTED: Staff for T-levels
Challenges in attracting staff from the construction, digital and engineering sectors will be “particularly severe,” says the report, because their industries can pay higher salaries.
Another hurdle providers spoke about was keeping staff’s industrial knowledge and skills up to scratch; an issue some providers have addressed by setting up a bank of freelance staff they can draw on to deliver part of the digital T-level.
6. Will completing a T-level enable learners to progress on to a level 4 apprenticeship?
T-levels’ “lack of” occupational competencies – the knowledge, skills and attributes for a vocational career – has raised doubts about whether learners completing the new qualification will be able to progress on to a level 4 apprenticeship.
This was particularly the case in technical and practically-orientated apprenticeships like construction and engineering, and will put a dent in “an important selling point for T-levels”: the size and scale of the industry placement.
It will also be up to universities whether they accept T-levels, which carry UCAS tariff points. There were questions over whether the Russell Group would accept them, which may influence other universities and could “tarnish” T-levels in the minds of parents.
7. Could T-levels be a block on social mobility?
The requirement for learners to have a grade four at GCSE maths and English was seen as a barrier to accessing T-levels, according to the NFER.
And the scale of the guided learning hours requirement and the industry placement is, as highlighted earlier, anticipated to be a problem for learners with part-time jobs or caring responsibilities.
As the specialist focus of T-levels and its exam-based assessment will not suit all learners, providers instead want the level 3 vocational and technical offer to “continue to provide young people with a range of options and learning styles, as well as broader vocational study”.
On that point…
8. Providers plea for BTECs and other AGQs to stay
“T-levels are heralded as ‘gold standard’ qualifications but applied general qualifications are an established route with a licence to practice,” the report reads.
Yet earlier this year the government launched a consultation on withdrawing funding for thousands of AGQs, ahead of T-levels’ introduction.
There remain “some concerns” around what is going to happen to BTEC/Cambridge Assessment level 3 vocational students “if some or all of these qualifications are discontinued and what might be the unintended consequences”.
It was felt at the roundtable, which was attended by a Department for Education representative, that the breadth and specialisation of AGQs and T-levels were different enough “that different types of qualifications can thrive alongside each other”.
When asked for a response, the DfE pointed out they had recently launched their T-level campaign to increase awareness and said it is working closely with HE providers and their decisions around admissions policies will be made in due course.
FE News podcast with Cath Sezen, Senior Policy Manager – Further Education with the Association of Colleges. Cath chats about the T Level programme to date and what the future developments could hold.