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More support to help employers offer #TLevel industry placements

Education Secretary unveils a new package of measures so employers can provide the heart of T Levels

The industry placement is a critical part of the T Level qualification giving young people the chance to gain vital hands on workplace experience in their chosen profession Education Secretary Damian Hinds has said today, as he unveils a new package of support for employers.

More than 200 businesses including leading firms like Fujitsu and GlaxoSmithKline, are already backing these landmark reforms – working with the Government to help design the new T Level course content so they provide young people with the skills industry value.

A unique part of a T Level will be the completion of a high-quality industry placement – of at least 315 hours, or approximately 45 days – where students will build the knowledge and skills they need in a workplace environment.

The package of support announced today follows extensive consultation with employers and further education providers and directly reflects their feedback to help make sure more employers can offer these vital placements in readiness for the T Level rollout in September 2020.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

The completion of a high-quality industry placement will be at the heart of every T Level and is part of what will set these new courses apart from every attempt to reform technical and vocational education in the past 70 years.

To make a success of T Levels, we need businesses working in partnership with us and colleges. Industry placements will help young people build the confidence and skills they need to get a head start in their careers and they’ll help businesses maximise their talent pipeline for the future.

This new package of support is designed to help ensure we can deliver high-quality placements for every T Level student from 2020.

The package includes:

  • New guidance to support employers and providers to offer tailored placements that suit their workplace and the needs of young people – such as offering placements opportunities with up to 2 employers and to accommodate students with part time jobs or caring responsibilities

  • Ahead of the roll-out of the first three T Levels in September 2020 – a new £7 million pilot scheme to explore ways to help cover the costs associated with hosting a young person in their workplace such as equipment and protective clothing.

  • Bespoke ‘how to’ guides, workshops and practical hands-on support for employers – designed alongside industry bodies to make it as easy as possible for them to offer placements.

T Levels represent the biggest shake up to technical education in a generation. To support the development and delivery of industry placements, the Government has already provided nearly £60 million in funding and worked with around 400 further education providers and over 2,000 employers including Marriott and Warren Services to identify the best ways of delivering them. Around 1,550 students took part in placement opportunities last year with thousands more placements underway this academic year (18/19).

Industry placements will provide businesses with an opportunity to attract a diverse range of talent and build the skilled workforce they need for the future.

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, said:

There has long been a need for an increase in prestigious technical options after GCSEs that parents, teachers, and businesses understand. This package of measures to help employers deliver placements is welcome, because if T Levels are going to be a success they will require long-term commitment from Government. Support will be most needed for small and medium-sized businesses, so special attention should be paid to these firms.

David Hughes from the Association of Colleges (AoC) said:

AoC is delighted that the Department has responded to college voices advising how best to support successful Industry Placements as an integral part of T Levels. The new flexibilities directly address our concerns about students with caring responsibilities and part time work. The new approach will allow more young people to study for a T Level and benefit from a placement.

Jane Gratton, Head of People Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

Business has long called for a high-quality vocational alternative to the A Levels to ensure young people are work-ready and have greater technical skills and knowledge when they join the workforce. T level industry placements are crucial to developing these enhanced skills, and the greater support and flexibility will enable firms of all sizes to open their doors to young people, introduce them to the exciting careers on offer in the local area, and identify a great pipeline of future talent.

The first three T Levels for Digital, Education and Construction will be first taught from September 2020. A further seven will to be taught from 2021, including three in Health and Science, with a further 15 coming onboard from 2022 onwards in sectors such as legal, financial and accounting, engineering and manufacturing, and creative & design.

To support the further education sector to deliver the new T Level courses, the Government will provide an additional half a billion pounds every year once they are all fully rolled out.

The Government is also investing £20 million to help prepare the sector for the introduction of T Levels. This includes the £5 million Taking Teaching Further programme, which aims to attract more industry experts to work in the sector, and the £8 million T Level Professional Development offer to help teachers and staff prepare for the roll-out of the new qualifications.

Find out more about industry placements here.

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