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T Levels - Technical education

What are T Levels?

T Levels are a new two-year level 3 technical programmes that will sit alongside apprenticeships and A Levels within a reformed skills training system, primarily aimed at 16-18 learners.

T Levels have been designed to create the skills revolution needed to meet the needs of our economy and are being developed in partnership with Government, business and education.

The introduction of T Levels aims to streamline technical education and focus on developing skills that sit within 15 industry routes. The first T Levels will be introduced in September 2020 with full roll-out intended by September 2024.

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What’s in a T Level?

T Levels will be based on employer-designed standards and content, which will prepare students for highly skilled jobs and enable them to adapt to meet the skills needs of the future.

Students achieving a T Level will have the numeracy, literacy, digital skills and wider transferable skills, attitudes and behaviours needed to succeed in occupations relevant to their chosen route and the wider workplace of the future.

T Levels consist of a number of components;

  • An approved technical qualification, from an approved awarding organisation
  • Meaningful work placement with an employer lasting between 45-60 days in their chosen industry
  • English, maths and digital requirements (English and maths at a minimum of Level 2)
  • Any licence to practice requirements for that occupation
  • Enrichment and tutorial time.

Frequently asked questions

Do we have to switch to T Levels now?

T Levels are being implemented within a select number of providers that the DfE have approved. There is a strict application and selection process until they are available nationally, which we expect to happen by 2024. All existing City & Guilds qualifications approved under section 96 are still fundable. We also offer a full suite of qualifications for 16-19-year-olds, including Technical Qualifications.

How will T Levels be funded?

The DfE has committed additional funding specifically for T Levels – rising to an extra £500M per year. The additional funding recognises that T Levels will give learners more learning time than many current technical education options.

How will T Levels compare to other Level 3 study programmes?

T Level programmes are substantial and will be of high quality. They are likely to be equivalent in size to a three-‘A’-Level programme and will have more teaching time built in to enable students to acquire more and better knowledge, skills and behaviours.

T Levels will become one of 3 major options when a learner reaches level 3, alongside apprenticeships and A Levels.

Useful resources

Our resources:

City & Guilds and AELP T Levels work placement research: AELP and City & Guilds have collaborated on a research project to investigate work placements. The research examines the purpose and current practices around work placements; investigates the challenges that may be faced in introducing the range and volume of work placements now required; and makes recommendations based on our findings and experience of how to give the proposals the best chance of success.

T Level consultation response - A summary of our thinking : City & Guilds has submitted a number of recommendations to Government that we think are essential steps to creating a technical education system that works for all.


Webinar recordings:

Find out more about the latest developments in T Levels by watching our webinar, hosted by Kirstie Donnelly and Anthony Impey.


Government resources:

Implementation of T Level programmes - Government consultation response: This document outlines the Government’s response to the public consultation held from 30 November to February 2018.

List selected providers to deliver T Levels in academic year 2020 to 2021: The Government has announced 54 pilot centres that will be delivering the first three T Levels pathways from September 2020. The full list has been published on the Government website.

Post-16 technical education reforms action plan: This publication provides an update on progress made in developing policy and implementing the reforms set out in the Skills Plan.

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