T levels: What are they?
T levels are the government’s new post-16 qualification, designed for young people who want technical qualifications. They don’t replace A levels, they just sit alongside them. The new qualifications will first be available for you to study between 2020 and 2022. Like A levels, they will last two years. The aim of the new qualification is to simplify your choices after your GCSEs.
While A levels are seen as the traditional route after your GCSEs, the aim of T levels is to offer something different. While at the moment there are thousands of vocational qualifications to choose from, in the future when you choose to study a subject such as hair and beauty or construction, you will be studying for a T level.
T level Routes
The proposed T level sectors are:
- agriculture, environment, and animal care
- business and administration
- catering and hospitality
- childcare and education
- creative and design skills
- digital skills
- engineering and manufacturing
- hair and beauty
- health and science
- law, finance, and accounting
- protective services
- sales, marketing and procurement
- social care
- transport and logistics.
What are the benefits?
These new qualifications have been designed to make it easier to find a job after you finish college. The government has also promised that students taking the qualifications at college will be eligible for a maintenance loan, although the details on this aren’t clear yet. Especially relevant is the fact that work placements will be included so that you get to put your college learning into practice. That means you will also get valuable experience to improve your cv at the same time.
In addition, T levels will form part of the government’s plans to hire more apprentices. That means if you decide to do an apprenticeship after leaving school (or later as a career changer) you could earn a T level at the same time.
Finally, some universities have already said that they will accept T levels so that you can earn your degree afterwards if you choose.