Local colleges offering new ‘T Levels’ revealed
THE first colleges to teach new ‘T Levels’ have been named. Students in Birmingham, Dudley and Walsall will have the chance to study for T Levels from September 2020, after West Midlands colleges were chosen to pioneer the new qualification.
The T Level is designed to be the equivalent of an A Level but teaching technical skills.
It follows warnings from employers that they urgently need more staff with qualifications in fields such as engineering, design and programming.
Young people entering year 10 in September 2018 will be the first to be able to choose T Levels. They will then begin their studies after their GCSEs in year 11.
Once the two-year course is completed, and assuming they get the grades, they can go on to study at university, take an apprenticeship or begin work.
Prime Minister Theresa May said: “We’re making the most significant reform to advanced technical education in 70 years to ensure young people have gold standard qualifications open to them whichever route they choose.
“T Levels provide a high-quality, technical alternative to A levels ensuring thousands of people across the country have the skills we need to compete globally – a vital part of our modern industrial strategy.”
A total of 52 colleges across the country have been chosen to launch the qualification. They include:
Access Creative College, Digbeth, Birmingham;
Bordesley Green Girls’ School & Sixth Form, Bordesley Green, Birmingham;
City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College; Dudley College of Technology; Lordswood Girls’ School & Sixth Form Centre, Harborne, Birmingham;
Painsley Catholic College, Cheadle, Staffordshire;
Sandwell Academy, West Bromwich; University College Birmingham; Walsall College; Walsall Studio School. Courses in construction, digital and education and childcare will be first taught from September 2020. A further 22 courses will be rolled out in stages from 2021, which will cover sectors such as finance & accounting, engineering & manufacturing, and creative & design.
Many existing technical qualifications could be axed, although no decision has been made about specific qualifications yet.
A common complaint from employers has been that there are too many different qualifications, making it hard to judge the merits of candidates applying for jobs. There is also concern that technical courses do not have the prestige of A Levels, making them unattractive to students.
T Levels are designed to change all that.
Jane Gratton, Head of Skills Policy, British Chambers of Commerce said: “Business communities across the country tell us that improved technical education and stronger workplace experience are needed to help them fill the skills gaps they face.
“T Levels will be an important part of the solution, giving young people a high quality route to gaining the employability and technical skills they will need to succeed in their chosen career.
“Ensuring that businesses of all sizes, and in all regions, have an input into the design and content of the new system will be crucial to its success.
> T Levels qualifications will provide a high-quality, technical alternative to A levels, according to the prime minister