From education to employment

From tea-making to T-levels – new video series showcases how work experience has evolved to create a career-ready generation

  • 95% of parents believe relevant work experience will be important for their child’s future employability, but only 20% said the work experience they did reflected the reality of work.
  • One third (33%) of parents still associate work experience with menial tasks like photocopying.
  • T-levels – a nationally recognised qualification for 16-19 year olds, equivalent to 3 A-levels – combine classroom study and a 45-day industry placement with a government-approved employer. T-levels provide in-depth, realistic, hands-on experience that prepares students for the real world of work.
  • In line with National Careers Week, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation launches Parent Placements – a video series where parents shadow their T-level teenagers for the day.

New research by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation (Gatsby) found that 95% of parents see relevant work experience as an important factor in their teenager’s future employability, yet when thinking back to their own work experience, only one fifth (20%) thought that it reflected the reality of what it’s like to be employed.

A third (33%) can’t help but associate it with menial tasks such as photocopying but they still insist it’s important for the next generation’s career prospects. Of those who think it’s important, reasons cited include; so they can experience the real world of work (78%), get the opportunity to gain specific skills that employers look for (66%) and have the chance to improve their personal and business skills (60%).

In line with National Careers Week (6th-11th March 2023) and in response to outdated perceptions of work experience, Gatsby is urging parents to learn more about the benefits and opportunities the 45-day T-level industry placement can offer their child if they choose to study the new qualification.

Created with employers and equivalent to three A-levels, T-levels offer a unique blend of 80% classroom study and 20% industry placement, putting skills into action and creating a ‘job-ready’ generation that have gained hands-on experience in an actual working environment within their chosen industry.

T-level subjects span many specialist areas, from construction and healthcare, to digital and engineering; all providing expert knowledge to students, helping them stand out to employers within their chosen fields.

To aid parent understanding, Gatsby has launched the Parent Placements video series this week. A spin on ‘Take Your Child to Work Day’, Parent Placements sees teenagers give their parents a taster of what a typical day as a T-level student entails. Challenging traditional tea-making perceptions of work experience, the series aims to showcase how T-levels – and particularly the industry placement element – offer students a head-start when it comes to career prospects.

The series kicks off with two students – Amaris Tawiah and James Lack. Both Videos can be found here –



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