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What are T Levels?

T Levels are two year technical programmes run in England that allow students to get real industry experience whilst they study for Secondary School age qualifications. They can often lead on to Apprenticeships, Technical qualifications or Higher Education qualifications.

Placements and core information

What are the key facts you need to know?

T Levels are an alternative Level 3 qualification to A Levels in England.  They include study, exams and short work based placements. Students will also develop their Maths, English and Functional Skills.

They will spend 80% of their time in the classroom and 20% with an employer putting what they have learnt into practice.  

Employers can work solo or as part of a group to offer placements and these can be completed either in 1 day or blocked time increments (or both).

An employer support fund is currently available from the government which can be used to support your costs for hosting students in your business.

You will need to provide:

  • Up to 315 hours (45 days) of placement activities per student
  • A mentor or manager to supervise the student
  • Induction and training for the tasks being completed
  • Feedback for the student after the placement.

Benefits for your business

T Levels provide a different pathway from traditional A Level qualifications and allow students to experience your business and sector.

T Levels are becoming increasingly popular with students with more than 20 course subjects now available.

T Level Student Image

Why are T Levels good for your business?

Taking T Level students into your business should be part of your long-term strategy as it can:

  • Develop your pipeline of future Apprentices or Interns,
  • Build skills and knowledge in your team
  • Enhance your company reputation in the local area
  • Ensure diversity of age, ethnicity and gender in your workforce
  • Increase existing staff experience of mentoring young people
  • Bring new ideas into your business from the next generation
Good for business image -T Levels

Engineering, Manufacturing and Digital T Levels

Follow the links for each T Level to see more about each qualification and also find out the types of jobs that each qualification pathway could lead to.

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Recruiting T Level Students

The first students will graduate from the Engineering & Manufacturing T Levels in the summer of 2024.  Is your business ready to recruit these skilled & knowledgeable employees into your workforce?

DfE research suggests that 91% of learners will stay in their chosen T Level sector, either in direct employment or following a training pathway (including apprenticeships).  

Make sure that you take advantage of this recruitment channel and plan how you can include T Level students or graduates in your workforce.

Jargon Buster

How much do you know about T Level terminology?

Employer Support fund

The employer support fund is provided by the government and can be used to offset the cost of placements to your business

Provider

Providers are the educational institutions who manage the training qualifications for T Levels, such as a school or college. You'll need to work with them to arrange the placements.

Placement

Placements are the work based training activities that T Level students undertake, these take at least 315 hours and can be completed in 1 day increments or blocks of days

Courses

Just like for A Levels students must choose a course to study - there are more than 20 available with several specific to Engineering, Manufacturing and Data Science.

Accelerated Apprenticeship

T Levels can lead to an accelerated Apprenticeship because the learning a student has done on their T Level course can be taken into account later on.

Level

T Levels are level 3 qualifications in England, which is equivalent to A Level and other Technical qualifications.

Useful information and links - click the arrows to expand each section

EAL

This page from EAL provides general information on T Levels including information for employers, providers and learners. 

It will help you find the support you need, offer you resources to help you plan how to work with T Level students and suggest events and webinars that you may want to attend.

Go to the EAL site

UK Gov website

The UK Gov website is a good place for to start looking for information.  We've picked out a few links for you below.  

General guidance on Industry placements, including case study examples:

Visit the Government website

General Information about T Levels:

Employer guide on placements (document) More detailed guidance for employer on placements (webpage) Overview of T Level information Policy for Industry placements (2019) T Level funding T Levels and Technical Standards

Government statement on the new Advanced British Standard qualification and how it impacts T-Levels:

Read the statement

Webinars:

This webinar is aimed at SMEs who are interested in hosting placements for T Levels and contains useful information and case study examples from employers who have already been through the process.

Watch the webinar Find more webinars to watch


Strategic Development Network

The Strategic Development Network (SDN) has pulled together lots of information for you including tools to help you deliver placements, how you can get support and training that you can access.

This includes a series of webinars, regional conferences, access to experts & advisors, and you can also sign up to newsletters to keep track of changes and new resources.  For employers thinking of starting T Levels placement or those who have already hosted placements this site is well worth a visit.

Go to the SDN site

Understanding the Education Landscape

Visit our pages looking deeper into the Education Landscape that will help you to understand the options available to your business and where you can get involved.

The Education Landsccape

IfATE

Another useful website can be found at IfATE including general advise for employers and detailed information on the courses that students may take.  This is very useful site to help you understand which courses relate best to your business.

Go to the IfATE site

NCFE - placement advice

This page on the NCFE site details examples of how placements can be structured to make up the 315 hour minimum placement time ranging from taster sessions to placement blocks.

Go to the NCFE site

Health and Safety & Insurance guidance

Many employers have questions about health & safety regulations and insurance requirements for T Level students, particularly since these students are very likely to be under 18s.

We've spoken to the Strategic Development Network (SDN) and their advice is:

  1. All new employees (including T Level students) should have a health and safety induction and risk assessments carried out for their activity.  Your normal processes should be sufficient.
  2. If students are under 18 it is recommended that you carry out a safeguarding review of their contact with staff in your company and how they will work with your employees.  Your educational provider will be able to help you with this; and you may need to provide some training to your other employees so they understand their role & responsibilities in training the T Level student.
  3. All T Level students will have training from their educational provider to prepare them for the workplace. This includes what to expect in terms of the environment and expectations their placement company will have for them.  Speak to your provider to see what this entails and where you can expand on this training.
  4. Your insurance company should be informed that you are taking on placement students, however, it is unlikely that they would not be covered under your existing Liability Insurance or Public Liability Insurance.
  5. T Level students are more likely to be placed in 'technical support' roles within your team than in high risk activities.  So it is unlikely they will be exposed to highly dangerous or expensive machinery (which is only used by fully competent and trained technicians).  Instances where there would be a high risk to them should be revealed in your risk assessments - see point one above.

Typical technical support tasks to assign to T Level students could include:

  • preparation and planning, 
  • evidence and data gathering, 
  • checking processes, 
  • quality assurance, 
  • measurement functions, 
  • digital tasks, 
  • manufacturing or maintenance tasks, 
  • record-keeping, 
  • tool and work area set-up functions.

Comprehensive guidance about health and safety, legal compliance, and insurance are provided here: Legal compliance for industry placements.

You may also find the following links useful:

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