In summer this year, the government announced that it would invest £50 million into colleges, schools and sixth forms delivering T Levels across England from 2022 to improve and expand teaching facilities.
T Levels - qualifications co-created with over 250 employers including Fujitsu and Amazon – are equivalent to three A levels and combine classroom study with industry placements, enabling students to gain the skills businesses need allowing them to go straight into the workplace, onto an apprenticeship or further study.
The funding will guarantee state-of-the-art facilities for T Level students and help transform technical education provision in the UK which the government says will lead to levelling up opportunities across the nation and plugging local skills gaps.
This action is desperately needed, too. With many workers in the construction sector either ageing, returning to the EU or considering a move into new sectors, this industry is in major need of a skills influx to make the Build Back Better agenda reality, with the skills shortage potentially exacerbated by the duo of the global pandemic and Brexit.
Minister of State for Care and Mental Health and former Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, Gillian Keegan, commented: “T Levels are a game changer for young people, providing a high-quality technical equivalent to A levels that have been designed together with leading employers so students and businesses can be sure they will get the skills they need to thrive in a high-tech economy.
“This multi-million-pound investment will mean even more students will benefit from world-class facilities, giving them access to brilliant new buildings that will help them get ready for the world of work.”
David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, added: “T Levels will be available in more than 100 colleges and schools from this September and are a high-quality option for young people looking to build a career. I welcome the fact that the government is continuing to invest in up-to-date buildings and facilities for these courses and students.”
“The fact T Levels form a key part of the government’s reforms to revolutionise skills and technical education will be important for our construction industry partners. It offers the next generation an opportunity to acquire the skills and experience they need to progress into well-paid jobs, further study, or an apprenticeship within the sector.
“This investment and a suite of new subjects adds to the initial rollout of T Levels in key industry areas such as Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction introduced last year. Increasing skills in these industries and developing a thriving workforce will be important if we really are to Build Back Better.”
Under the government’s new plans for T Levels, a further seven qualifications rolled out in September this year in subjects such as Health, Science and Onsite Construction, with further subjects including Finance, Media and Legal to be introduced over 2022 and 2023. These are in addition to the first three T Levels in Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction, Digital Production, Design and Development and Education and Childcare, all of which were introduced in September last year.
Further T Level funding is expected to be awarded later in 2021.