Jennifer Coupland, Chief Executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education

The first #TLevel Technical Qualifications (TQs) have been published by the Awarding Organisations (AOs) for first teaching this September.

Overseen by the Institute following an extensive procurement exercise, these qualifications have been developed by the AOs with the support of providers and employers.

NCFE leads on the TQ for Education and Childcare. Pearson leads on the TQs for Digital Production, Design and Development; and Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction.

Jennifer Coupland, Chief Executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, said:

In these troubled times, it is important to focus as much as possible on the positives. We are delivering T Levels on schedule and to a high standard. It is a huge team effort and I would like to congratulate everyone who has contributed so far.

T Levels will be the technical equivalent to A Levels, combining classroom theory, practical learning and an industry placement. The new T Levels will involve 80 per cent classroom-based learning, and 20 per cent on-the-job learning through substantial industry placements, and are equivalent to 3 A Levels.

The TQs will include a broad ‘core component’ which gives the learner an overview of key aspects of a sector and an ‘occupational specialism’ which provides specialist training for a particular occupation. Students will also learn relevant maths, English and digital skills, for example measurement techniques, estimation or producing reports for customers. The qualifications will provide exciting content for learners which will be relevant to the world of work and will include projects and assignments based on real-life scenarios.

Work is ongoing preparing for the second, third and fourth waves of the new qualifications, which will lead to a total of 25 T Levels being launched by 2023.

Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson has confirmed that T Levels will be launched as planned this September. Given the impact of Covid-19 Minister Keegan has written to each 2020 and 2021 provider thanking them for their continued support for the programme.

Jennifer added:

Covid-19 is of course a major consideration, but that must not stop our preparations for the future of high-quality technical education. The Institute will do everything in our power to ensure T Levels deliver for employers and students.

Rod Bristow, President, Pearson UK & Global Online Learning said: 

We’re delighted to be delivering the first wave of T level qualifications in Construction and Digital. We have used our longstanding relationships with employers and our in depth understanding of the skills they need in order to design and develop world class qualifications for these industries.

T levels are an important addition to the technical education landscape and we look forward to continuing to work with the Government, employers and providers to ensure their successful implementation as the first cohort of students begin their programmes of study in September.

David Gallagher, NCFE Chief Executive said:

We’re delighted that our Technical Qualification for the Education and Childcare T level has now been approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education and Ofqual. At this unprecedented time, the important role that our childcare and education workforce plays within society has never been more apparent. We are therefore proud that through T Levels we can support the sector in equipping the future workforce with a gold standard technical education.


The 14 months of hard work undertaken for us to get to this stage has been a truly collaborative effort involving significant support from specialists and employers within the education and childcare sectors, as well as the FE sector at large. I’d like to thank each and every person who has played a part in helping us to achieve this milestone and thank the sector for their continuing support.


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