T Levels: training your workforce of the future
T Levels are a new level 3 technical qualification – equivalent to three A Levels – for young people (under 19) after their GCSEs.
They will replace the large range of current technical qualifications – including level BTEC certificates and diplomas.
They will bring together classroom study with a significant work placement – called an industry placement – to give young people the skills and knowledge required to be ready to work in a wide range of sectors and industries.
When do T Levels start?
T Levels are being introduced in phases. The first pilot starts in Autumn 2020. Leicester College is part of the phase 2 pilot with the first T levels at Leicester College will start in Autumn 2021 across the following:
- building services engineering
- digital business services
- digital support and services
- healthcare science
- onsite construction
Additional routes will be rolled out across the College in 2022 and 2023.
What is an industry placement?
An industry placement is an extended period of work experience to give students the opportunity to develop their practical and technical skills in a role that relates to their course.
Placements are 45 days in duration and are linked to the industries students are hoping to progress into.
What is the benefit to my company?
Students on industry placements bring with them enthusiasm, good subject knowledge and skills to support your business.
- Flexibility: take placement students to fit your business needs. Placements can be one or two days a week through the year; one or two weeks at a time; a month at a time, or longer.
- Develop staff management and supervisory skills: supervising or managing placement students can help to develop your employees’ leadership skills, boosting job satisfaction and retention.
- Foster future talent: get to know students and identify talented individuals who you may wish to offer employment to in the future.
- Extra help at no cost: industrial placement students carry out real work while developing their skills and knowledge.
- Boost your company’s reputation: people completing placements with you talk to their friends and family, and mention their experiences on social media.
Read more about the benefits of being a placement employer.
What sectors are industry placements and T Levels in?
We are looking for employers to provide industrial placements in the following sectors and roles:
- business and administration
- catering and hospitality
- creative and design
- education and childcare
- engineering and manufacturing
- hair and beauty
- health and science
- legal, finance and accounting
What support will I get from Leicester College?
We will support you at every stage of the process, from making sure that students are ready to go on a placement, to checking in with you to see how students are progressing, and making sure you have everything necessary in place for the student.
Do I pay students on industry placements?
The placement is part of a young person’s Study Programme, so there is no requirement to pay them. However, employers can optionally pay students or support with costs such as travel and sustenance.
What about other costs?
If there are other costs that you incur for a student on an industry placement, such as providing personal protective equipment, specialist equipment, training or DBS checks we may be able to help with these. Please contact us for more information.
How are T Levels different to apprenticeships?
T Levels involve more classroom study than apprenticeships. Apprentices are in paid employment and carry out 20% off the job training. T level students are college based and spend 20% on the job.
How do I become an industry placement employer?
It’s simple to become an industry placement employer. It’s simple to become an industrial placement employer. All you need to do is contact us on 0116 224 2240 and ask for our Employability Manager – Gemma Jackson – or complete our industrial placement enquiry form.
There are a few things which you will need to commit to, which include:
- Providing at least 45 days’ work placement.
- Agreeing a work plan with Leicester College and the student. These will include relevant learning objectives that are linked to the sector and the student’s area of study.
- Making sure the working environment is safe and allow the student to develop their practical skills in a safe way.
- Having a dedicated member of staff to mentor and supervise the student, and provide feedback on their progress.
- Providing feedback at the end of the placement.
What employers say about industry placements
HELEN BRADSHAW, UNIVERSITY OF SALFORD
“There is a huge skills gap coming. We’ve got this huge black hole looming on the technical workforce front and there’s no running away from it. We need to see new technicians coming through.”KURT FRARY, NORFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL
“What we’re doing is introducing young people into roles and opportunities that they may not have considered. At the same time we get to see how they perform, whether they’re a good fit for the team, whether they’ve got good ideas we haven’t thought of. We can learn off them as well as they can learn off us. It’s really important that we consider what’s in it for us as well as what’s in it for the young people.”
WILLIAM BRIDGMAN, WARREN SERVICES
“The thing that impresses me about these young people is that they come with new ideas. Quite often when I speak to other companies they say, “It will be so much time that we’ve got to invest in them.” Actually, I see it as probably cost neutral. Yes, we do spend time showing them what to do, but they also positively impact the business as well.”
GARY STANDLEY, BBC VOICES
“Many people are going to think it’s just another person to hang around the office and I think if you’ve got two weeks’ work experience, probably that is what you’ll have. I think this is different. You treat it differently. You’re going into a contract, so your expectation of them should be higher and their expectation of you should be higher.”
JAN MARSHALL, MARRIOTT HOTELS
“When I look at the students we have, they’re really quite mature for their age. They’re all under 18 still, but I think they’re ready to be in the workplace.”
KOREN O’CONNOR, CMS
“For us it’s a way of giving the students the opportunity to learn in a live environment what they’re doing daily at college and get an understanding about whether it really is a career they want to take.”
SARAH BUDD, GALLIFORD TRY PARTNERSHIPS
“What we’re getting out of it is our staff of the future, our site managers, our quantity surveyors of the future. They can expand and go where they like after they get into construction. The doors are open.”
KURT FRARY, NORFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL
“One of the things I’m really passionate about is making sure we’ve got young people with digital skills that are transferable from one organisation to another. So if we engage as a large employer in Norfolk, hopefully others will follow our lead and we’ll encourage people to take up these placements and bring young people into their organisations.”
WILLIAM BRIDGMAN, WARREN SERVICES
“If you want to get the workforce of the future you need to engage them from an early age, otherwise they’ll go somewhere else.”
KOREN O’CONNOR, CMS
“The investment needs to be made by us, because whilst I think there are huge benefits for the students I think there’s even greater benefit for the firm.”