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T Levels and Industry Placements

What are T Levels?

T Levels are new qualifications coming in September 2020, which will follow GCSEs and will be equivalent to 3 A Levels. These 2-year courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work.

T Levels will offer students a mixture of predominantly classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 45 days. They will provide the knowledge and experience needed to open the door into skilled employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship.

How T Levels fit with other post-16 choices

In the future, young people will be able to make a clear choice after they have completed their GCSEs and will select whether to pursue an academic or technical/vocational path.

Academic vs Technical

When will they start?

The first T Levels will start in September 2020 at selected post-16 learning providers (colleges and schools) with more courses being offered in the years that follow. This means pupils who entered year 10 in September 2018 will be the first to be able to study them.

The first courses to be offered are:

  • digital production, design and development
  • design, surveying and planning
  • education

In time, there will be T Levels in subjects ranging from Accountancy through to Science. The content for these 2-year courses has been developed by panels made up of employers, learning providers and representatives of trade organisations. Together they have identified the key knowledge, skills and behaviours that students will need to learn to ensure they are employable.

How a T Level course works

How a T Level Course Works diagram

What are Industry Placements?

Industry placements give young people practical experience directly related to their course, helping to prepare them for the world of work. Placements help develop technical and employability skills and build confidence.

How long is an industry placement?

Placements last for a minimum of 45 working days and can be planned as single or multiple blocks, as day release or a combination. The longer duration gives students time to master the essentials and gives employers time to mould the student’s abilities, so they can really add value to the organisation. The exact details of how the placement is organised is agreed between the local learning provider and the employer.

What role does the employer have?

Your role is to work with the learning provider to plan a structured placement and agree learning objectives that will give the student the experience they need to complete their course. Beyond that, you need to ensure the work environment is safe and that the student has a line manager to support, supervise and mentor them and to discuss their progress with the provider on a regular basis. At the end of the placement, you will need to provide an appraisal of the student’s commitment and progress against the learning objectives.

the benefits of industry placements

  • Gain extra resources for day-to-day projects
  • Build the capacity of your business and develop the skills you need
  • Develop a cost-effective recruitment pipeline of talent for entry-level jobs
  • Give your staff the opportunity to upskill in coaching and mentoring
  • Provide a positive experience for a local young person
  • Build a more diverse and creative workforce
  • Attract motivated young people to your business

Find out more

All our local colleges are trialing T Level Industry Placements as part of their work experience programmes. You can find contact details of your local college on our Provider Showcase page.

Not sure which provider to get in touch with contact your Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership Skills Lead on [email protected]

You can also contact an industry placement account manager on 08000 150 600 or [email protected]


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