Planning industry placements

Before taking on a T Level industry placement, use the information on this page to help plan the process.

How to find a provider local to you?

You can find providers who are delivering T Levels using the Department for Education (DfE) website.

Choose the provider(s) you think will:

  • work with you to design a suitable placement model
  • deliver good quality training which matches the placement role
  • prepare students properly for the placement
  • support the student
  • help make sure the placement is working for both you and the student.

Questions to ask a provider

It is important to ensure you are working with the right provider, especially if you have a variety of providers locally. You may want to find out:

  • which T Level routes the provider is running, and if these are relevant to your council?
  • what is their industry placement model (e.g. one or two days per week/block week/blended model)?
  • what their process is (e.g. will the students apply directly to your council)?
  • what support will the provider offer during the placement?
  • how the provider ensures that the student is prepared for the workplace prior to starting?
  • who are the key staff members you will be engaging with, and what frequency of communication can you expect?
  • what experience of employer engagement do they have?
  • where their students tend to live (this will help you to understand how far students will need to travel)?

More information about working with a provider is available on the DfE website.

Recruiting the right student

It is important to your council and the student that the recruitment process is fair and efficient.

Things to consider prior to recruiting a student:

  • Have you created the project plan/job description?
  • Have you identified the provider you will work with?
  • Are key staff within your council aware of their responsibilities?
  • Have you agreed a timeframe you are working towards with your provider?

Application process

You will need to confirm how you want students to apply for your industry placement. An example of how you may run your recruitment process is below:

  • Industry placement advertised to students.
  • Interested students apply using their CV.
  • Provider submits applicants to the council.
  • Interviews are held.
  • Feedback given to all applicants.
  • Successful student offered placement.

You may want to tailor the process, especially if you have a large number of applicants.

Download the industry placement application form.

Promoting your industry placement

Once you have created your job description or project plan it is important to ensure your opportunity is being promoted to students at your provider. Each provider may have different ways of promoting opportunities, so it is important to have these discussions from the start.

Recruitment process

This may be the first time the student has engaged with an organisation away from their provider so it is important to ensure the process is as smooth as possible. This will also create a good relationship with the young person from the beginning. When interviewing, keep the questions the same to ensure it is fair for all students. 

Interview process

Utilise the LGA’s pre-industry placement interview resource, which includes questions you may want to use during the interview.

You will need to confirm whether you or the provider will be giving feedback to the students.

Factors to consider:

  • The attendance of the student (may be specific reasons for low attendance).
  • Provider recommendation.
  • Whether the young person asked questions during the interview.
  • The young person may be interviewing for other opportunities so moving quickly will help.

More information about recruiting industry placements is available on the DfE website.

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Industry placement process

Identify T Level routes you can offer industry placements in

Identify line manager/mentor who will work with the young person

Choose the provider you will work with

Create job descriptions/project plan for the industry placement

Preplacement checks and health and safety

Confirm the recruitment process with your provider

Preplacement interviews

Industry placement offer(s)

Industry placement start date confirmation

Industry placement start and induction

Monitor progress, ensure tri-party communication, and appraisal

Student completes minimum industry placement hours

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Health and safety

When you get to the detailed preparations for industry placements, the college, school or training provider you work with they will support with you on the practicalities of:

  • health and safety
  • risk assessment
  • insurance
  • safeguarding
  • the Prevent initiative 
  • equality
  • data access and security.

More information about each of these topics is available on the DfE website.

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Planning industry placements projects

Tips for choosing projects and tasks within your council

To ensure the industry placement is of a high quality and beneficial to both you and the student:

  • make the projects and tasks interesting and challenging – the student should feel challenged which will help them to develop a breadth of skills so they can progress into a career
  • vary tasks throughout the placement – giving students repetitive tasks won’t build a broad range of skills and could demotivate them
  • develop the student’s practical skills – this is the real purpose of a placement. Select tasks which are new to the student and support them to build their skills
  • be realistic – giving students too much to do or asking them to carry out difficult or complex tasks without support won’t help their development
  • supervise and train students – so they can learn to do the tasks well, with supervision at first and then without that when they have shown they are competent
  • reflect the role – most job roles involve a range of tasks, so projects should give students a chance to learn a wide range of skills.

How to identify projects for the placement

  • Consider your future skills requirements, where are the gaps? If you are considering using an industry placement as a pre-cursor to apprenticeships, look at what you would want the student to demonstrate.
  • Are the projects interesting for the T Level student? Do the projects set the student up for a career in their desired job role?
  • Work with your provider to ensure that the projects are occupationally specific to the T Level route.
  • Are the projects relevant to your council? Do the projects allow the student to actively contribute to your council.

Download the LGA’s industry placement project plan to support the planning of your placement.

More information on planning placements is available on the DfE website.

T Level route Potential related projects
Business and administration

Write reports and management information from HR data. Plan, schedule and prepare for a series of project or team meetings.

Further ideas can be found on the DfE website.

Case studies:

  • Hillingdon Council
  • Leicester City Council
  • Somerset Council

Prepare, cook and present food to agreed safety standards, practices and guidelines.

Further ideas can be found on the DfE website.


Inspect equipment for calibration and serviceability.

Further ideas can be found on the DfE website.

Case study

  • Leicester City Council
Digital and IT

Diagnose digital problems and provide internal end-user application support. Write or maintain simple scripts or code.

Digital T Level Students can study route -level industry placements if specialism placements are not available. Councils can host T Level digital students in different services which carry out a digital function, for example communications, media, customer services team.   

Further ideas can be found on the DfE website.

Case studies:

  • Bradford Council 
  • Hillingdon Council
  • Leicester City Council
  • Leeds City Council
  • Oldham Council
  • Somerset Council
  • Wiltshire Council
Education and Childcare

Support children to develop numeracy and language skills, through games and play. Observe children to support learning and development.

Further ideas can be found on the DfE website.

Case study:

  • North Lincolnshire Council
Engineering and manufacturing

Evaluate engineering designs to determine the most effective solution and interpret diagnostic information. Use electrical wiring diagrams to determine system serviceability.

Further ideas can be found on the DfE website.

Case studies:

  • Leicester City Council
  • Sunderland City Council
Health and science

Use active listening and engage with individuals to develop rapport and build confidence, thereby assisting with patients’ overall comfort and wellbeing.

Under supervision and following a specification, assist in the setup of laboratory and equipment for use in testing and analysis.

Further ideas can be found on the DfE website.

Case studies

  • Somerset Council
  • Wigan Council
  • Wiltshire Council
Legal, finance and accounting

Record, analyse and report on financial data. Analyse and investigate relatively straightforward risk/compliance issues.

Further ideas can be found on the DfE website.

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Line management resources

As a line manager or mentor this may be the first time you have managed a young person. This guide includes some top tips on how to manage a young person.

Prior to the industry placement start date

It is important to ensure that the placements starts in a positive way - It may be the first time the student is entering the world of work, therefore, giving all appropriate information including start date and time, and any information such as appropriate work attire will benefit the student.

It is also important to consider if there is any work that the student needs to complete prior to their first day.

Download and Local Government Information Guide to help the student with further information.

Help the transition from education to work

This may be the student’s first experience of the workforce, therefore, a supportive environment will help with the transition. Each student may handle it differently, so spending time on the induction will help to support them.

The DfE website has more information on supporting the transition.

Focus on professionalism

As this may be the first experience of the workplace for the student, developing their workplace skills will add to their development. It is important to outline the professional behaviours that you expect, for example, if they are dealing with customers, sending emails or working with other internal stakeholders, it will be important to train the student on how to do this.

Induction process

Using the LGA’s induction checklist is a useful way to ensure you have created a high-quality induction. Think about how you may induct other staff members - which points do you need to use to induct the student? The student will need to meet their line manager and mentor and understand their role within the council. The LGA also have a ‘end of first week/first day’ review form that you can use with the student.

Download the induction checklist.

Allocate a mentor

The mentor may be different to the line manager, so it is important to identify who this will be prior to the industry placement start. The mentor will act more as a guide for learning, rather than supervisory. This individual will need to be able to spend time with the student, while offering feedback. The mentor will be viewed as an example to the student.

Information for support for industry placement mentors can be found on the Gatsby website and on the DfE website.

Consider workload

Some students may be quiet, or reluctant to say they are struggling with the workload. Whether it is during 1-2-1s, or just day to day activities, consider how much they are doing. Some students may require more challenges during the placement, therefore you may want to add to their workload. Students often like variety so you may want to factor this in.

More information on assisting with workloads can be found on the DfE website.

Connect the student to appropriate people

The placement that the student is completing may involve liaising with different internal or external stakeholders. Allowing the student to have this information and speak to other colleagues will aid their progression. This will ultimately have a positive effect on the work they complete.

Invest in the student

Industry placements have many benefits, one being they can be used as a pre-curser to employment or apprenticeships. You have the opportunity to promote local government as a viable place to work. You may want to consider training opportunities that the student can complete. This investment in the student will allow them to further enhance their development and work during the placement.


Engaging managers

In order to deliver high quality placements, it is important to engage internal management. There are resources available within the LGA’s T Level toolkit that supports you with engaging managers.

What is the education landscape?

It is important for local government to build a skilled workforce and promote the services we deliver. This is an important way of promoting local government and engaging with the future workforce. You can find more information on the Education Landscape website. You can also access a related guide for employers. This outlines the benefits for business, ways to get involved, case studies and the education system at a glance. 

Line managers

The ‘T Levels – Line Management’ presentation is available to use to inform line managers of what T Levels are, the benefits of industry placements.

Download the line management presentation.

Things to consider engaging line managers:

  • What support do they need to deliver industry placements?
  • What is their knowledge of T Levels? Do they need additional training?
  • Do you know who the mentor will be?

Council remote working

There is the possibility that local government staff are hybrid working or using a blended approach to work. Therefore, it will be beneficial to effectively plan how you will deliver placements. It will be important to understand the provider’s model so you can effectively plan this.

Senior leadership

Having the backing of senior leaders will be beneficial in gaining cross council support for the delivery of industry placements. Placements can have a strategic influence in the recruitment of new staff and shape the future workforce. Where there are recruitment needs, placements could help to recruit the right person to your council.

They can also have positive influence on wider services. Young people bring in new ideas or ways of working. Existing staff could develop their line management and mentoring skills through working with a young person.

Things to consider engaging senior leadership:

  • How do senior managers view T levels working within local government?
  • What input is needed from senior managers?

Learning and development

At the beginning of the placement the student will need to go through an induction. You will want to consider of there are any mandatory training sessions such as GDPR, that the student will need to complete. Further into the placement, you may want to plan additional training for the student.

Learning and development is not exclusive to the student. Line managers or other staff may require training around mentoring or working with a young person.

Things to consider with learning and development:

  • What training does the student need to do at the beginning of the placement?
  • What training do existing staff require?