T Levels explained

What are T Levels?

T Levels are a two year qualification for 16-19 year olds designed in collaboration with employers. Each T Level is equivalent to 3 A Levels, with the aim to support the young person to develop their skills, knowledge and to thrive in the workplace. Students choose different T Level specialisms, and develop the key skills required in industry. T Levels offer a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on the job experience’ through an Industry Placement (IP).

What is an Industry Placement?

As part of T Levels, students are required to complete an Industry Placement that is occupationally specific to their course. An Industry Placement runs for a minimum of 45 days with the emphasis on quality. This is an opportunity for students to support with projects, take the lead and enhance their skills. An Industry Placement will take place with an employer external to the learning provider’s premises. For those students starting their T Level in the 2021/22 academic year, 25 per cent of the Industry Placement can be completed remotely (excluding the education and childcare route).

What are the progression routes for Industry Placements?

T Levels equip young people with the key skills and knowledge required within industry. Progression routes for T Levels include higher apprenticeships, entry level employment or higher education. T Levels focus on 80 per cent academic study, and 20 per cent Industry Placement, which is key to ensuring young people are ready to enter the workplace and their desired sector. 

What T Level routes are available?

There are many different T Level routes, that pertain to local government. You can access the content that is covered within the links below if you would like to explore further. 

Construction

Includes students learning:

Health and science

Includes students learning:

Education and childcare

Includes students learning:

Digital and IT

Includes students learning:

Legal, finance and accounting

Includes students learning:

Business and administration

Includes students learning:

Engineering and manufacturing

Includes students learning:

Catering and hospitality

Includes students learning:

To find out what T Level placements are available near your council use the Government's postcode finder.

Myth busting

Will Industry Placements distract from our core business and will they add value?

Industry Placements bring great benefits both short and long term. Short term benefits include raising the profile of local government as an employer, extra support with projects or services. You also contribute to the development of a young person. Industry Placements are an excellent way of creating a recruitment pool for apprenticeships or other types of employment.

Organisations are now exploring new avenues to attract talent and ensure they have a workforce to deliver their services. T Levels are a crucial part of achieving this.

We already do apprenticeships – why should we do Industry Placements too?

If you already do apprenticeships, Industry Placements are a great way of getting to know potential future apprentices early on, before they leave education.

Apprentices can be ‘buddies’ for industry placement students and act as mentors. Also, when apprentices are doing off-the- job training, it might be appropriate for an Industry Placement student to cover their role.

How do we ensure Industry Placements bring tangible benefits or return on investment?

There are many benefits to placements, which are outlined in the LGA’s T Level brochure. There are a range of benefits to both you and the young person.

How do we work out role and responsibilities for Industry Placements?

The LGA’s T Level Support Programme will equip you with the knowledge of what your roles and responsibilities are. These can also be found in the FAQ document.

In general, it’s not that different from taking on a temporary worker. It’s not all down to you and your organisation. The college or school you work with will take on many of the tasks involved in designing and delivering placements.

What if it's too difficult to support students?

The LGA T Level Support Programme includes resources that enable you to get the most out of the Industry Placement. This includes resources on developing a student work place skills and engaging with a young person.

Students aren’t all that different from other new recruits. You may already have the resources and experience to support placements.

Your provider, such as a local college or school, will help as well, both to recruit the right students and support them before, during and after the placement.

What is it going to cost us?

There is no cost to hosting an Industry Placement, the emphasis is on learning, therefore you are not obliged to pay the student.

Your organisation will need to invest time in the T Level student, however, there are a range of benefits to this. Just like any new starter, you will need to look at creating an induction, and allocating tasks to the student. However, the student will then be able to get involved in tasks and engage with the services you offer.

The LGA T Level Support Programme also includes resources available for you to utilise to ensure the induction is effective.

We don't have any links with providers - where can we find them?

You can find providers delivering T Levels on the gov.uk website.

We have a recruitment freeze – how do placements apply to us?

Placements aren’t the same as job vacancies. There’s no commitment to offer students a job afterwards – although it’s great if this is a possibility. So, there’s no impact on headcount.

If you do decide to recruit, you may have saved significant resources by establishing the placement student’s suitability.

What if we don't have enough staff to support Industry Placements?

Some staff will be involved – but not many, and you choose who they are. The key people are a supervisor and/or mentor – they help students settle in and learn, just as they do for any new recruit or temporary worker.

This could be a great opportunity for your existing staff to develop their management skills. You shouldn’t need extra staff.

What if we are located in a rural area?

There are students available everywhere, including in rural areas, although you may need to think a bit more carefully about travel. Working with your provider will be important to ensure the student can attend the Industry Placement.

Will we need insurance?

If the student is doing work that is normal business practice and you already have up-to-date Employer Liability Insurance and Public Liability Insurance, then you do not need additional cover.

How do we manage students with special educational needs and disabilities?

Employers and colleges, schools or other providers, have legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010. This includes making reasonable adjustments for students who may be placed at a substantial disadvantage because of their disability compared with non-disabled people.

You will need to cooperate with your school or college to make sure that any legally required reasonable adjustments are provided.