Employers across Cumbria will be able to claim a £1,000 cash boost for every T Level student they host on a high-quality industry placement, as part of a new incentive scheme launched today.
The new technical qualifications - co-created with over 250 employers including Fujitsu and Amazon – are equivalent to three A Levels and uniquely combine classroom study with industry placements.
T Levels are a key part of the government’s reforms to revolutionise skills and technical education, generating the skilled workforce that businesses need for the future and giving students the experience they need to progress into well-paid jobs, further study or an apprenticeship.
Industry placements form a key component of T Level courses, with students spending at least 45 days (or 315 hours) with an employer. They offer local businesses an excellent chance to nurture and build a skilled talent pipeline for the future, while helping to level up opportunities as we recover from the pandemic. Students gain vital hands-on experience and invaluable insight of the world of work, setting them up for success in the next steps of their career.
The first three T Levels in Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction, Digital Production, Design and Development and Education and Childcare were introduced in September 2020. A further seven will be available from 2021 in subjects including Healthcare, Science and Onsite Construction and subjects including Finance, Media, Broadcast and Production and Legal Services will be introduced from 2022 and 2023.
This is part of the wider investment of nearly £500 million that includes capital funding to improve the quality of facilities and equipment to be used to deliver T Levels, and investment in the T Level Professional Development (TLPD) offer.
Welcoming the news Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, said
“I am very pleased to see that the government is recognising a parity of esteem between technical qualifications and A Levels. For too long students have been pigeon-holed into thinking that A levels were their only real option. Giving financial incentives to employers who offer placements to T level students is a smart way to improve the chances of a student acquiring useful and important skills that they can translate into the wider world of work.
Up-skilling the next generation of students is vital to the government’s levelling up agenda across the country. The UK needs a diverse workforce with skills in many areas from Healthcare to Science and from Construction to Finance if we are to be prepared for a changing economy in years to come. The pandemic has been a very difficult time for students as they have seen their study interrupted and delayed. We must provide the opportunities for students to gain the skills they need for the workplace and ensure that the challenging past year or so has no negative longer-term implications for their life chances. ”
Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills Gillian Keegan added:
“T Levels are a game changer for young people, providing a fantastic high-quality technical alternative to A levels and helping to produce the skilled talent pipeline of tomorrow as we recover from the pandemic.
“Employers are already recognising the value hosting a T Level industry placement can bring to their business, helping them to build the skilled workforce they need for the future. This temporary cash boost will help even more employers to experience the benefits, while also providing young people with invaluable first-hand experience in the workplace.”