Five things you need to know about T levels

Starting this September, Government is introducing new T levels to provide young people with a technical alternative to A levels once they’ve finished their GCSEs.  

Deciding what path to follow at 16 is a difficult decision for many young people – who very often draw on advice and guidance from their parents and teachers to help them make the right choice for them.  Here are five things you need to know about T levels:

  • They’ll provide a new, work-focused alternative to A levels for young people
  • They’re being developed in close consultation with business and current practitioners
  • They’ll include a substantial ‘industry placement’ to help young people develop skills
  • They’ll provide a structured route to higher education and work
  • They’re being phased in from this September
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NCFE is working with Government, business and current practitioners to develop the qualifications that will underpin T levels for the education and childcare, digital, health and science sectors.  For more information on T levels and the work we’re doing to develop them, go to 

T levels are new, high-quality, work-focussed alternatives to A Levels for young people once they’ve completed their GCSEs.  

Designed to help bridge the gap between the classroom and the workplace, T Levels are two-year programmes which combine technical learning with vital hands-on work experience through industry placements. 

Equivalent to three A Levels, T Levels will equip students with the practical skills and knowledge they need to progress into the workplace, university, or a higher level apprenticeship. 

Currently, vocational students can choose between thousands of different courses and qualifications. T Levels have been introduced by the Government to help provide a clearer choice for students and employers and ultimately provide better outcomes for young people.

Qualifications trusted by employers

There will be 25 different T Level qualifications made available to learners across the UK. 

They will span 11 different industry sectors, including agriculture; environment and animal care; business and administration; catering and hospitality; childcare and education; construction; creative and design; digital; hair and beauty; health and science; and legal, finance and accounting.

Each programme has been developed in collaboration with sector experts and leading employers to ensure they meet the needs of the workforce and set learners up for success. 

Available from September 2020

T Levels are being introduced as part of a phased roll out, with the first 3 being available at selected colleges from September 2020. These will be in:

  • design, surveying and planning for construction
  • digital production, design and development
  • education and childcare

A further 7 T Levels will be available in September 2021 with the remaining courses starting in either 2022 or 2023.

Julie Hyde, Executive Director, NCFE

Julie Hyde, Executive Director, NCFE

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