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What are T Levels?

T levels are new technical study programmes that will sit alongside apprenticeships and A Levels within a reformed skills training system. 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 from September 2023.


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Key facts about T levels

  • T levels will be level 3 technical study programmes, 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 T levels will be able to progress to the highest levels of skilled employment or technical education and training at levels 4, 5 and 6. Progression options will include higher and degree level apprenticeships or higher technical education, including technical degrees. 
  • Apprenticeships and T levels will be based on the same set of standards designed by employers and others but there will be differences in the overall content of each programme, to reflect that apprenticeships are mainly delivered in the workplace, and T levels will mainly be delivered in the classroom. 
  • 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 level programmes are substantial and will be 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.  

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.


Government resources:

Implementation of T level programmes - Government consultation response: This response followed the public consultation held by the Government from 30 November 2017 to 8 February 2018 to obtain views on the major aspects of its proposals for implementing T Levels. This document outlines the Government’s response to the consultation.

List of pilot centres: 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 follows the Post-16 Skills Plan, published in July 2016 by the Department for Education. It provides an update on progress made in developing policy and implementing the reforms set out in the Skills Plan.


Webinar recordings:

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

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