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What are T Levels?

T Levels are new courses coming in September 2020, which will follow GCSEs and be equivalent to three A Levels. They will combine classroom theory, practical learning and a 315 hours industry placement to make sure students have real experience of the workplace. T Level courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that they meet the needs of industry and prepare students for work. T Levels provide the skills, knowledge and experience you need to open the door to highly skilled employment, higher level study or apprenticeship.

The Association of Colleges has collated a list of the Department for Education Industry placement case studies explaining how T Level work. You can also hear what students have to say about industry placements and why they would recommend them to others.

T Levels for 2021-22

T Level: Construction Level 3

T Level: Digital Production, Design and Development Level 3

T Level: Education and Childcare Level 3

T Level: Health

When are they being introduced?

T Levels will be offered from September 2020 onwards at selected colleges and schools.

How long does a T Level take?

A T Level will take you two years to study full time and is equivalent to three A Levels.

What subjects can I study?

The first T Levels in Construction, Digital and Education & Childcare will be available from September 2021 at selected colleges and schools. More subjects will be offered in the years that follow. Students will be able to take a T Level in the following subject areas:

  • Accounting
  • Agriculture, Land Management and Production
  • Animal Care and Management
  • Building Services Engineering
  • Catering
  • Craft and Design
  • Data and Digital Business Services
  • Design, Development and Control
  • Design, Surveying and Planning
  • Digital Production, Design and Development
  • Digital Support and Services
  • Education
  • Financial
  • Hair, Beauty and Aesthetics
  • Health
  • Healthcare Science
  • Human Resources
  • Legal
  • Maintenance, Installation and Repair
  • Management and Administration
  • Manufacturing and Process
  • Media, Broadcast and Production
  • Onsite Construction
  • Science

What is different about T Levels?

T Levels will provide the skills and knowledge you need for work. All T Levels will include an industry placement‎ with an employer so that you can apply your learning in a real workplace environment. Around 80% of your time will be spent in the classroom with the remaining 20% being spent on placement. This differs from an Apprenticeship, which is typically 80% on-the-job and 20% in the classroom and is more suited to those who want to earn a wage and learn at the same time and are ready to enter the workforce at age 16.

Will T Levels be available in my area?

York College will be amongst the first providers to offer one or more of the following T Levels in 2021 in Childcare, Digital Technologies and Construction.

How long is the industry placement?

The government expectation is that students complete a minimum of 315 hours of work placement time per year and each day should ideally be 7 hours or more. At York College, this will be built into the timetable with at least one day per week being released for the placement.

Who are T Levels for?

T Levels are ideal if you have completed your GCSEs and want to get into a skilled job. T Levels will enable you to build the knowledge and experience to help you get the job you want. Because T Levels are being developed in collaboration with employers and businesses you will have the skills that employers in your chosen industry need.

Can I go to university after a T Level?

Yes, you can. T Levels will prepare you to progress into a skilled job, but you can also choose to take further technical training, such as a higher apprenticeship or degree, if you don’t want to move straight into a job.

Will they be recognised by employers?

The content for each T Level subject has been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses. By having these businesses designing the content, you will be learning the key skills that employers are looking for, making you more employable.

Why would I choose an unpaid T Level over a paid Apprenticeship?

T Levels and Apprenticeships are different. A T Level will give you the opportunity to continue your studies and get a much broader idea of what it's like to work in a certain sector, with the opportunity to specialise later. Apprenticeships are paid, work-based training for those who know what occupation they wish to pursue.

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