Last week the Education Secretary of State, Damian Hinds, gave a speech outlining the Government’s plan on improving technical education. In the speech he reiterated the government’s plans to continue its rollout of T Levels, as a new technical offer for 16-19 year olds, replacing the majority of level 3 vocational qualifications.
All the details for the rollout were outlined in the latest T Level Action Plan 2018.
Here are five things you need to know about the action plan:
1. Engineering and Manufacturing route pushed back to 2022 onwards
Given the complexity of agreeing the technical qualification (TQ) for our route, and what the 3-month placement should look like, the government has decided to push the engineering and manufacturing route back to deliver from 2022 onwards.
Details of how providers can apply to deliver T Level routes 2022 and onwards will be announced next Autumn.
2. Progression onto higher levels of study
Even though T Levels are designed to equip young people with the skills to be skilled in a particular occupation, government has recognised the need to allow students options to progress beyond this. In practice, this means T Levels will give young people the opportunity to progress onto higher-level apprenticeships, e.g. level 4, 5, or even 6. This nicely leads me to the next big policy win…
3. UCAS points for T Levels
EEF has pushed hard to ensure T Levels receive UCAS points so that young people have the option to go on to university, should they wish to. T Levels will get UCAS points in line with 3 A Levels and this will be applicable for students even in the first three T Level routes starting next September.
4. But grading for T Levels remains confusing
Students will get:
• Grade A*-E for the core component of the TQ
• Pass, merit or distinction for the occupational specialism of the TQ
• Pass or fail for the 3-month placement
• Grade 9-1 for their English and Maths skills
• Any other occupation-specific requirements like a license to practice
And to top it off, all that will be condensed into a “simple” pass, merit or distinction based on the weighting of the core and occupational specialism, which can vary for each pathway!
Stunned silence? Join the club.
5. Expanding National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) to be a match-making platform
Government has expanded the role of NAS to provide support and guidance for employers offering industry placements. They will also be providing a platform to match employers to providers so that students can find placements for 2018/19 academic year.
Whilst the content for the engineering and manufacturing route is being finalised and signed off by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, the first three T Levels will be delivered next September. In the meantime, EEF will be working hard to ensure that the grading of T Levels is clear and meaningful for employers. We have also showcased to government how being flexible with the delivering of 3 month placements will go some way in helping manufacturers to offer placements to student, e.g. the use of training centres, and will continue to make the case for this.
Lots of work still to do, watch this space.