First announced in 2016, ‘T levels’ create an additional route for young people to study a technical qualification at level 3; equivalent to A levels.
On 11 October 2017, Education Secretary Justine Greening, launched three T levels in digital, construction, and education and childcare. These three T Levels will be taught from 2020, with the full set of T levels introduced by 2022.
Each route groups together related occupations which require common knowledge, skills and behaviours. These routes are further broken down into specialisms, clustered together so that young people can see a clear path to the occupation of their choice.
The content of T levels will be developed by panels comprising industry professionals and employers, including; EDF, Rolls Royce, Fujitsu, Lloyds, Morgan Sindall, Skanska and Morphy Richards. They will also include a substantial work placement so that students can apply their learning in a real workplace environment.
Greening said; “We are transforming technical education in this country, developing our home grown talent so that our young people have the world class skills and knowledge that employers need… As part of making sure that the technical education ladder reaches every bit as high as the academic one, I want to see T levels that are as rigorous and respected as A levels.”
Lord David Sainsbury, chairman of the Independent Panel on Technical Education, whose report led to the reforms said: “T levels will increase the life-chances of many thousands of young people, while at the same time helping to ensure British industry remains competitive.”
The construction panel is chaired by Julian Weightman, chairman and owner of Border Craft Group and board member of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
FMB chief executive Brian Berry said; “One of the biggest potential stumbling blocks for the T-level initiative will be the required amount of work experience for each young person. T-levels will rely on all students being able to complete three months’ work experience with an employer in their second year. Given that CITB statistics show the number of young people in construction-related further education far outweighs the number of apprenticeship places being offered by employers we need to find a solution to this problem."
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the National Federation of Builders (NFB), said; “The make-up of the panel developing the content of construction T-levels should be more representative, with SMEs playing a more predominant role since they account for 98% of the industry.”
Click here to see the full T levels Action Plan.
On 5 January 2017, the membership of the T-Levels panels, responsible for developing the outline content for new T levels, was confirmed. The panels are made up of employers, professional bodies and providers and help in creating technical education programmes. Ref https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/t-level-panels-membership
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