Last-minute decision to delay some T Levels prompts Greater Manchester’s leading college to call for more certainty around L3 qualifications to ensure it can continue develop the skills the Greater Manchester economy requires
The Department for Education’s decision to delay the roll out of some T Levels that had been scheduled to launch this September has prompted The Manchester College to call for greater certainty around L3 technical qualifications.
The College, which already teaches the technical qualifications equivalent to A Levels in several subject areas, had already recruited significant numbers of students to these new courses.
But the decision by the Department for Education to delay the roll out nationally until 2024 or later has prompted “frustration” for the College, which is now working to provide affected students with suitable alternative study options to ensure they are able to develop the technical skills they will require for a future career in their chosen industry sector.
Commenting on the decision, the College’s Principal and Deputy CEO of LTE Group Rachel Curry said:
“While we take some comfort that robust quality processes are in place to ensure students and employers are well served by T Level courses, we are frustrated with the decision to delay some T Level routes.
“The announcement, coming in the midst of the application processes for September 2023 enrolment, creates uncertainty for the large number of young people who had already applied and were looking forward to starting their T Level journey in September. Our immediate focus will be in providing those young people who hold offers or have applied to one of these courses all the support they require to ensure that they are not disadvantaged and continue to have access to a study programme which is co-created and co-delivered with employers, including an extended work placement.
“The decision highlights the importance of having a managed and planned transition to qualification reform, in particular around any changes to L3 technical qualifications, and creates more uncertainty at a time when the further education sector is asking for greater stability so that it can continue to play its part in addressing the skills needs of the economy – which is so critical to growth.
“We remain committed to T Levels as evidence from students and employers involved in our current cohorts is showcasing how valuable they are in developing the skills needed by industry, with fantastic progression into higher level study or employment. This is further reflected by the number of employers who are keen to further extend their partnerships with us and the number who have already made firm commitments to roles for our students at the end of their studies.
“However, the announcement raises a number of questions around our business and resource planning for the 23/24 academic year. We will be working to address this – and our broader concerns – with the Department for Education as a matter of urgency to obtain greater clarity on the additional routes we plan to roll out in the coming years.”
The College is writing to all affected applicants who had applied to study on one of the three affected routes – which also includes T Level transition programmes. None of its other T Level programmes have been affected and all other courses will continue as planned in September.
To find out more about the College’s offer, students can visit www.tmc.ac.uk