Introducing T Levels
It is safe to say that the education industry has undergone a complete overhaul during the pandemic. Just to add even more confusion to the mix, the Government has also introduced T Levels, which we launched back in September 2020. These are beneficial to both students and employers though, as they include a 45-day industry placement. Let’s have a look at these new qualifications in further detail.
What Exactly Are T Levels?
T Levels are equivalent to 3 A Levels, and are 2-year courses that have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses. This means that the content meets the needs of the industry in which learners will be working, preparing them well for work, or further studying.
They provide students with a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during the industry placement part. As opposed to A Levels which are much more focused on the studying aspect, T Levels are designed to help students gain vocational skills. Allowing them to easily progress to skilled employment, higher study or apprenticeships.
For the full list of subject areas that students can take T Levels in, the Gov website is the best place to visit. The first T Levels released in September 2020 were:
- Design, surveying and planning for construction
- Education and childcare
- Digital production, design and development
A further 7 T Levels will be released in September:
- Building services engineering for construction
- Digital business services
- Digital support and services
- Healthcare science
- Onsite construction
The remaining courses will then be gradually rolled out in either 2022 or 2023.
Integrating With Other Qualifications
T Levels won’t remove the need for A-Levels, they will simply sit alongside them. This means that after students have completed their GCSEs, T Levels will be the main choice for students as well as the other two existing options:
- Apprenticeships for those who are wanting to learn ‘on the job’.
- A Levels for students who are wishing to continue with academic studying
T Levels are based on the same standards as apprenticeships, but are designed by employers as they have the best understanding of the knowledge, skills and behaviours that students need to have in order to be successful within their industries. These qualifications have then been approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.
Structure of T Levels
You may be thinking that T Levels sound exactly the same as apprenticeship, and while it may appear that way they are different. An apprenticeship is usually a combination of 80% on-the-job learning and 20% classroom learning. People who often go down this route already know the occupation they want to pursue, and want to earn a wage at the same time as learning.
T Levels consist of around 1,800 hours over the course of the two years; this also includes the industry placement time. There are compulsory elements that are part of all T Levels, no matter what the sector:
- A technical qualification which includes:
- Core theory, concepts and skills for an industry area
- Specialist skills and knowledge for an occupation or career
- An industry placement with an employer
- A minimum standard in Maths & English (if these have not already been achieved prior)
Grading & Certification
Just like with apprenticeships, students who complete their T Level will receive an overall grade (pass, merit, distinction or distinction*). Then there will be a separate grade given for the core component (using the A* to E grading scale). Each occupational specialism will also then be graded, using the pass/merit/distinction structure.
As mentioned above, students will need to meet the minimum requirements for Maths and English qualifications which will be noted in their final grade. Confirmation will also be given to state the student has completed the industry placement and has met any additional mandatory requirements.
We hope this has helped to give you more information on T Levels and how they fit into the current curriculum. If you are an employer there is also good news from the Government as they have announced additional funding of £500 million a year in order to meet the costs of organising industry placements.