By School Liaison Co-ordinators Camille Duke and Jessica Marney

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Guest Blog: The Next Level Qualification – T Levels

In this month’s employability guest blog, School Liaison Co-ordinators Camille Duke and Jessica Marney share their knowledge on the hot topic of T Levels – the Next Level Qualification.

Have you heard about the new T Levels? The government are promising that they will simplify the process of technical and vocational training in England. But what are they? 

What are T Levels?

T Level is short for ‘Technical Level’. T Levels are a new two-year technical qualification for those aged 16 -18 and will provide students with a high-quality technical alternative to A-Levels, combining classroom learning with an extended industry placement. They will become one of four major options for students to study at Level 3, alongside Vocational pathways, Apprenticeships and A Levels. 

T Levels are co-designed with employers to give young people the skills that industry needs. They will provide a mixture of:

  • Technical knowledge and skills specific to their chosen industry or occupation.
  • An industry placement of at least 315 hours (minimum 45 days) in their chosen industry or occupation.
  • Relevant maths, English and digital skills.

They are equivalent to 3 A Levels and will be graded in a similar way. 

So what will The Manchester College be offering?

From September 2021 we will initially be offering T Levels in four subject areas:

  • Construction 
  • Computing and Digital
  • Education and Childcare 
  • Healthcare and Science

Find out more about T Levels at The Manchester College on our dedicated T Level page.

There will also be two entry pathways to T Levels

T Level Transition Programme

The T Level transitional programme has been developed and phased in, which will focus on providing an effective preparation for students to complete a T Level. It will be targeted at young people who are not yet ready to start a T Level at age 16 but who can realistically be expected to complete one by age 19. The T Level Transition Programme will support students to develop their academic skills, technical skills, knowledge and behaviours required to complete a T Level, through tailored provision that supports their progress.

Direct Entry

If a student has achieved the required entry criteria and can provide supporting information required for the individual course, they can then apply for direct entry to the T Level of their choice. 

When the student has completed their journey in our Industry Excellence Academy, they will have the qualifications they need to take the next steps towards studying further at University or starting their amazing career as well as the experience and skills that will help them stand out to future employers. 

Class sizes are kept intentionally small  to support accelerated learning and use high quality materials and resources developed in partnership with our employers. Students will spend dedicated time in class with industry experts – who will deliver and assess bespoke modules which fill critical skills gaps the industry have identified. Plus, they will be assigned a specialist employability tutor to support them with their programme and progression towards readiness for the world of work.

What is a T Level Summer school?

The Summer school is a 3-week online programme and successful completion is part of the entry requirements for the Level 3 T Levels and Level 2 Transition Courses. The Summer School will begin week commencing 5th July 2021. The programme is developed to help determine alongside a pupils’ GCSE grades, if they are suitable for a T Level or T Level Transition Year.

Successful Summer School students will be invited to take part in an online interview with college tutors and/or employer sponsors, who will help to make the final selection.

So, what do the Schools Liaison Team think of T Levels and why might students want to consider them?

T Levels are great if a student wants to do something that is more practical, hands on and directly geared towards a specific field of employment. They’re ideal if the young person has a good idea of what they want to do in their future career and are keen to start getting some fantastic work experience opportunities with some of the best employers in Greater Manchester.

Even if the student doesn’t know exactly what they want to do, T Levels are a great way to spend two years diving deeply into a subject area that interests them – and they never know what they might learn or what doors might open up as a result. The wonderful thing about T Levels is that the subjects on offer will be as diverse as the students studying them! All that matters is that they have a passion for the subject and are willing to work hard to succeed.

Head over to our website to find out further information on T Levels at The Manchester College.

Our School Liaison Team

The Manchester College's schools liaison team