T Levels are new courses coming in September 2020, which will follow GCSEs and will be equivalent to 3 A Levels. These 2-year courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work.
T Levels will offer students a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 315 hours (approximately 45 days). They will provide the knowledge and experience needed to open the door into skilled employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship.
Students will be able to take a T Level in the following subject areas:
- agriculture, land management and production
- animal care and management
- building services engineering
- craft and design
- cultural heritage and visitor attractions
- design, development and control
- design, surveying and planning
- digital business services
- digital production, design and development
- digital support and services
- hair, beauty and aesthetics
- healthcare science
- human resources
- maintenance, installation and repair
- management and administration
- manufacturing and process
- media, broadcast and production
- onsite construction
T Level courses will include the following compulsory elements:
- a technical qualification, which will include
- core theory, concepts and skills for an industry area
- specialist skills and knowledge for an occupation or career
- an industry placement with an employer
- a minimum standard in maths and English if students have not already achieved them
For more information please visit Gov.Uk website.
No Physical Education or Sport T Levels
So why is there no physical education or sport T-level?
Jo Maher in her blog provides the following insight.
“I was told that sport must be academic as opposed to technical because students go to university. The logic is that A-levels instead of technical qualifications would place sport on the academic side of qualification reform. However, employers still require technical training, leaving master’s graduates spending up to three years on technical training, at their own expense in many cases, in order to get a job.
The attraction of working in elite sport is meanwhile so high that professional clubs can ask for higher-level qualifications than roles may require, for low salaries, and still be spoilt for choice. I have seen professional football clubs in England offering £12,000 salaries and requiring a minimum of a BSc and to be accredited, while many teams offer internships and voluntary roles.
This is where the problem lies. There has been an over-reliance on motivated postgraduates continuing to develop their technical skills, as opposed to improving the system in order to map the technical training as part of their studies. Not because technical training is not needed or is needed only at postgraduate level. The result is that sport has not engaged as much as other sectors in the apprenticeship reforms.
The uptake of vocational qualifications at level three across the sector has been strong for a number of years. However, apprenticeships in sport are not widely available, resulting in low enrolment numbers when compared to other sectors. The advanced apprenticeship in sporting excellence is the exception, and it has long supported young athletes with the training required to succeed in elite sport, specific to the performance side.
I cannot think of another industry that demands up to nine years of training, at a minimum cost of £36,000, to employ a person on an average salary of £18,000.
We must do better.
Co-ordinating the technical training requirements across the sector and including sport in the occupational maps may trigger the shift needed. Developing T-levels, level three apprenticeships and higher apprenticeships for elite sport job roles, supported by key stakeholders such as BASES, would benefit students, employers and the taxpayer.”
T levels offer an alternative option for post sixteen study. Time will tell how well received these qualifications are both within education and industry.