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Letter from Gillian Keegan to MPs and Peers in England about the launch of T Levels in September

Gillian Keegan, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills

@GillianKeegan Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills has written to all MPs and Peers in England about the launch of #TLevels in September.

Here is the letter from Gillian below:

24 July 2020

To all MPs and Peers in England

Dear Colleagues,

RE: Launch of T Levels in September

This September, brand new qualifications will be launched that will transform the way that technical education is delivered for young people in England, raising its prestige so it is seen as a credible alternative to our well established academic route.

T Levels are new, 2-year technical education courses for students aged 16 to 19. Each T Level is designed to be equivalent to 3 A Levels and includes a substantial, high quality industry placement of at least 315 hours (approximately 9 weeks), which will enable students to put the skills learned in the classroom into practice in the workplace. This combination of a rigorous programme of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience will distinguish T Levels from other qualifications and align our technical education with the best international systems. It will also provide young people with the knowledge and skills they need to progress, whether that is directly into employment, a higher or degree apprenticeship or further study.

Three T Levels will be launched in September:

  • design, surveying and planning for construction
  • digital production, design and development
  • education and childcare

Around 44 colleges, schools and other providers will deliver T Levels across the country this year and around a further 150 will start in either 2021 or 2022. I am sure that your local providers would welcome any support that you can give them in promoting the new courses and raising awareness of industry placements to local employers. You can find the full list of providers here.

I am delighted that T Levels will be launched this year despite the challenges of Covid-19 – it is a real testament to the hard work of staff and leaders across the country that we can continue with this hugely important programme in September as planned. No young person should lose out on opportunities due to Covid-19, so

I am particularly pleased that providers have worked so hard to ensure that these qualifications will still be offered this year.

T Levels are part of a wider programme of substantial reform to technical education. The Secretary of State for Education recently outlined the Government’s determination to put Further Education at the heart of the post-16 education system. T Levels are the first stage in building a new system based on the qualifications that employers value – ensuring that young people have the best possible chance of getting a good job when they finish their qualification. Crucially, T Levels will help to give employers a pipeline of young talent to draw on as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

T Levels will be phased in over the next few years, a further 7 T Levels will be delivered from 2021, 6 more in 2022 and a further 8 in 2023. The T Levels communications campaign will widen and increase in line with this rollout.

The T Levels website gives more information, and has specific areas both for students thinking of taking T Levels and for employers who are thinking of providing industry placements.

Further information on the rollout of T Levels can be found here.

I am hugely excited about the potential that T Levels have to transform young people’s lives. These qualifications, co-designed by industry leaders and providers, will ensure that young people really are ready to go into good jobs, or to meaningful further study or training. I hope that you will be able to support your local providers as they begin to teach T Levels, local employers to offer industry placements and students to take up T Level study.

Yours sincerely,

Gillian Keegan MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills

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