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New choice for learners after GCSEs

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The global pandemic has been devastating in many different ways. Leaving the world in an abundance of uncertainty. But one thing is for certain – how we recover from the damage caused will resonate for years to come. 

The UK unemployment rate for Q1 of this year was at 4.8%. That is higher than at the start of the pandemic, but we are seeing slight falls in the number as we slowly begin down the road to recovery. The ongoing message from our members is that businesses throughout the pandemic have developed better ways to tackle the lockdowns, the furlough schemes and the constant changes in restrictions. Not only this, the UK government is continuing to spend money in helping to support jobs and aid our future workforce where applicable. 

One focus of this has been T Levels. T Levels are new courses that follow GCSEs and are equivalent to 3 A levels. First launched in September 2020, these two-year courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and providers so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares learners for work, further training or study. 

T Levels offer learners a combination of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 315 hours (approximately 45 days). T Levels are based on the same standards as apprenticeships and will be approved by the institute and accredited by Ofqual.  

The UK government has also announced their recent initiative to which employers are able to claim £1000 for each T Level Student they support, in a bid to help all those companies affected by the global pandemic. Employers are starting to learn the value that a T Level placement can bring to their workforce and are becoming more encouraged to get involved in initiatives such as this. Not only does it create opportunities, but it is helping to bridge the various skills gaps across the UK workforce to help fill areas of expertise required for technical job roles. 

GAMBICA is proud to have been part of initial meetings held by City and Guilds who are working in partnership with specialist engineering awarding organisation Excellence Achievement and Learning (EAL). EAL has been awarded delivery partner status for the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (The Institute) to develop three new T Level Technical Qualifications (TQs) in Engineering and Manufacturing. The three Technical Qualifications being developed are: 

  • Design and Development 
  • Maintenance, Installation and Repair
  • Manufacturing, Processing and Control

It is aimed that T Levels will gradually become one of the main choices for learners after GCSEs. With technologies advancing and similar skills being required in various departments such as the convergence of the IT and the OT, our prospective for T Levels is promising and will add light to what we believe could create plenty of exciting opportunities for years to come. 

As we are approaching the delivery of these technical qualifications there is also a chance for employers to get involved. City and Guilds is collaborating with employers on developing the TQs, and would also value your input.  Opportunities to get involved can be with the design of the TQ – including determining the guided learning hours (GLH) and amplification of content, the development of assessment which will detail how the qualification assessments will be designed and delivered or even the review and validation of the TQs and the sample assessments have the correct level of coverage and are suitably aligned to industry.