On A Levels a DfE spokesperson said:

“Our world class A Levels were designed with direct input from subject experts and universities to ensure young people leave school with the knowledge and skills they need to go on to higher education or get job.

“But A Levels are not the only option for young people post-16. We are transforming technical education so there are range of high quality choices on offer. This includes our new high quality apprenticeships developed directly with employers so that young people gain the skills they demand.

“We are also introducing new T Levels from September 2020 – the technical equivalent to A Levels –designed with over 200 leading employers so that they meet the needs of industry and students are learning the skills and getting the experience needed to land a great job in a skilled profession, go onto a higher level apprenticeship or university.”

On T Levels

  • T Levels are brand new technical equivalents to A Levels that are coming in 2020 and combine classroom theory, practical learning and a three-month industry placement. 
  • The two-year courses have been designed with employers, to ensure that the content will meet the needs of industry and prepare students for work after GCSEs.
  • Up to £20m (as part of the £500m) was announced at the Autumn Budget to support the teacher and leaders to get ready to deliver T Levels. We will be investing an additional £500m per year to deliver T Levels once all routes are up and running and recently announced a further £38m capital fund to support the initial roll-out. 
  • More than 200 employers have been involved in designing the initial outline content for the first T Levels, meaning they will have real labour market value.

On apprenticeships

  • We are making apprenticeships longer, better, with more off-the job training and proper assessment at the end.
  • We’ve seen over 1.6 million apprenticeship starts to date [since May 2015] providing more opportunities for people of all ages and from all backgrounds.
  • Employers are designing new high quality standards to ensure apprenticeships are more responsive to their needs.
  • The new apprenticeships are in a broad range of sectors from nuclear to fashion, law, banking and defence and range from Butcher at Level 2 to Solicitor at Level 7

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