Careers Explorer:

What are T Levels?

T Levels are a brand new two-year high-level qualification that will give you a head start towards the future you want.

They have been developed to deliver world class technical education and give you a new choice after GCSEs.

Across Greater Manchester we have two providers delivering them from September 2020 – and a further eight providers coming on board in 2021 (see below).

These courses have all been developed in close collaboration with employers and businesses so that their content meets industry needs and prepares students better for work.

More than 200 businesses – including multinationals like Fujitsu and Skanska – have been involved the design of T Levels. That means you can be confident that your qualification will move you to the next level across a variety of industries.

T Levels will offer a mix of classroom-based learning and ‘on the job’ experience during an Industry Placement of at least 45 days over the two-year course.

Greater Manchester T Level delivery from 2020/2021*

To hear more from students and get their perspective of industry placements, watch the following video.

Sector Subject PathwayBoltonBuryHopwood HallThe Manchester CollegeOldham CollegeSalfordTraffordWigan & LeighOldham Sixth FormAccess Creative
DigitalDigital Support and Services
Digital Business Services
Digital Production Design and Development√(2020)√(2020)
ConstructionOnsite Construction
Building Services engineering
Design, Surveying and Planning
Education and ChildcareEducation√(2022)
Health and ScienceHealthcare Science√(2020)

Why have T Levels been introduced?

T-Levels are the result of a comprehensive review of post-16 education nationwide.

This new suite of technical qualifications aims to meet the challenges of improving skills levels, boosting the economy and making us more competitive nationally and globally.

Why choose T Levels?

T Levels will provide the knowledge and experience needed to open the door into skilled employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship.

They are an ideal way to combine the benefits of both practical and theory-based learning.

They are also aimed at learners who feel they may wish to pursue a Technical Education route into work as opposed to taking a traditional academic path.

Created with Business

T Levels have been designed in partnership with businesses and employers to give you the skills and knowledge to succeed in the workplace.

Your course includes a 45-day industry placement with a local employer giving you real experience in your chosen area of work.

T Levels are:

A brand new college-based technical qualification at level 3 as an alternative to existing level 3 qualifications like, for example, Apprenticeships or A levels;

  • Aimed at 16-18-year-olds wanting to pursue a high quality technical route into employment for higher education;

  • There to help individuals get skilled employment experience where theory is applied to real workplace settings;

  • A way to get a nationally-recognised certificate showing the overall grade you achieved – pass, merit, distinction or distinction* – plus details of exactly what you learned to help you move into skilled employment or a higher apprenticeship;

A way to study without incurring any tuition fees, if you start the course before you are 19.

When do T Levels start?

Pupils in Oldham who entered year 10 in September 2018 will be the very first cohort of T Level students from September 2020.

A further seven T Levels will become available in September 2021.

From September 2020 onwards:

• Digital production, design and development

From September 2021 onwards:

• Education
• Health
• Healthcare science
• Science
• Digital support and services
• Digital business services
• Design, surveying and planning
• Building services engineering
• Onsite construction

From September 2022 onwards:
• Accountancy
• Design and development
• Financial
• Human resources
• Legal
• Maintenance, installation and repair
• Management and administration
• Manufacturing, processing and control
From September 2023 onwards:
• Agriculture, land management and production
• Animal care and management
• Catering
• Craft and design
• Hair, beauty and aesthetics
• Media, broadcast and production
• Cultural heritage and visitor attractions

What are the components of a T Level course?

T Level qualifications will include compulsory elements. These are:
• A core theory, concepts and skills for an industry area
• Specialist skills and knowledge for an occupation or career
• An Industry Placement with an employer of a minimum 45 days over two years
• A minimum standard in maths and English
As a general guide, students doing T Levels will have achieved a minimum of 5 GCSE passes, including maths and English – but you should contact your local college for more information.
What pathways are available after completing T Levels?

Many T Level students will be able to move on to an apprenticeship at level 4 or higher, building on the knowledge, skills and behaviours they have acquired from the T Level course.

Like any other learner, successful T Level students can move onto an apprenticeship at the same, lower or higher level than the qualification they hold if it will allow them to gain substantive new skills, and if the content of the training is materially different from any prior course or apprenticeship.

T Levels are designed to prepare students for skilled work, which is exactly why they were designed with industry experts.

Employers will be able to see exactly which core and specialist skills – and workplace experience – each student has acquired when considering applications.

UCAS tariff points will be allocated to T Levels to help students get into higher education.

Students must achieve at least an overall pass grade to receive UCAS points – and these will only be allocated to the overall T Level grade received.

UCAS tariff pointsT Level overall gradeA level
168Distinction* (A* on the core and distinction in the occupational specialism)AAA*
96Pass (C or above on the core)CCC
72Pass (D or E on the core)DDD

How can employers support Industry Placements?

Every T Level will include an industry placement with an employer focused on developing the practical and technical skills required for the occupation.

These will last a minimum of 45 days but can last longer.

Employers can offer Industry Placements as a block, day release or a mix of these, and can discuss sharing part of the placement with another employer, if necessary.

What are the benefits to a business for having an industry placement?

These include:

  • Developing existing staff’s mentoring and management skills
  • Improving recruitment for entry-level jobs
  • Giving opportunities to young people from a wide range of backgrounds, leading to a more diverse workforce
  • Having extra resources for projects: bringing in new and imaginative ideas
  • Building partnerships with local training providers

Where can I get more information?

The government recently launched new websites for T Levels and for Employer Industry Placements
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