Calling all parents and carers of Year 9 and Year 10 students…
How much do you know about T Levels – the new qualifications now being taught that provide an alternative to A-levels, BTECs, or an apprenticeship?
T Levels are two-year courses that provide a mix of classroom teaching and on-the-job training. The ‘T’ stands for ‘Technical’, which means these courses provide specialist skills and knowledge for an occupation or career. Each course has a 45-day work placement that has been designed in conjunction with employers. There are over 400 learners currently enrolled onto T Levels across the region but we expect that number to swell considerably over the next few years. By September 2022, a total of 35 T Level courses will be taught across 15 different locations in Greater Manchester, most of them FE Colleges.
T Levels are central to the reforms that the Government is making around education and skills, with £3.8bn more to be spent nationally in further education. They can be found across a diverse range of subjects such as design, construction, digital industries, health, science, education and childcare, engineering and manufacturing, management and administration, finance, and accounting. More subjects will be available from September 2023, which include animal care and management, agriculture, catering, craft and design, hair and beauty, media broadcast and production, and legal. Each T Level subject connects to an area of work where skills are in demand. After the course, there is a choice to find skilled work, pursue a higher apprenticeship, or continue studying at college or university.
T Levels are not an easy option. They lend themselves to those who have an inkling of what career they might want and that’s not something everyone has worked out at age 16. To get on the course, learners will generally need some GCSE pass grades, to include English and Maths – although there will be some options to start a T Level and undertake GCSE resits alongside. There will also be a transition year route for others who need an extra year to prepare for the transition to T Levels.
Given the last two years with COVID, and the lockdowns we experienced, attitudes are changing among some learners, parents, and carers, around what to study after GCSEs.
Polling undertaken by UCAS within the last 12 months shows that over half of current university applicants also have an interest in higher and degree apprenticeships. These are work-based learning options, without tuition fees, that the Government hopes many T Level students of the future will opt for.
Want to know more?
‘Let’s Talk T Levels’ is a free, online GM Higher event that takes place on Tuesday April 5 (6pm – 6.45pm).
We hope to be joined by teenagers currently studying T Levels in the region*, as well as speakers from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
We’ll tell you what you need to know about T Levels as well as answer any questions you have.
Register for the event here: gmhigher.ac.uk/events/lets-talk-t-levels/
* Subject to availability
Article written by Ian McGarry, GM Higher IAG Manager