18 August 2022
The first T Level students have received their results today alongside those finding out about their A levels.
T Levels are the government’s new gold standard technical qualifications for young people aged 16 to19 available in a range of subjects including construction, engineering, digital, education and childcare as well as health and science.
Designed by employers with the Department for Education and the Institute of Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE), they provide young people with the specific skills and knowledge they need to progress in their chosen careers. Every course also includes a substantial industry placement, typically lasting 45 days, so students get the opportunity to gain valuable first-hand experience of the world of work with businesses across the country.
92.2% of T Level students achieved a pass grade or above for their overall T Level grade and 71% of T Level students who applied for a higher education place got it. A pass at T level is equivalent to 3 A levels.
Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE, a former FTSE 250 chief executive who chairs IfATE, and is president of the British Chambers of Commerce.
Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE said: “Congratulations to all the students for achieving fantastic results! It’s brilliant that the first ever T Level results have fallen today on the same day as A Levels, so they rightly sharing an equal platform. The feedback we’ve been getting from employers, teachers and most importantly young people doing the training has been impressive." “I wish that T Levels had been around when I was at school. They’re game-changers, the fact that they’ve been designed by employers, to make sure students learn skills businesses need, and involve a major chunk of work experience sets them apart. With firms crying out for skilled labour, it is so important that these students hit the ground running with technical know-how on the workplace already in their back pockets.”
T Level students agree that the industry placement has made a massive difference. Joe Harper, who studied for a T Level in IT Production, Design & Development at Havant and South Downs College, in Hampshire, and did his industry placement with gas distribution company SGN reflected that no two days were the same.
Joe said: “I got to delve into the world of cyber security one day, whilst the next I got the chance to see what it would be like to run the IT department by shadowing those at the top of the business. It was truly eye-opening to see the demands of the job but also gave me a clear picture of what to work towards.”
Rachel Appiah-Kubi, from LaRetraite 6 in London, also chose to study digital production through her T Level and did her industry placement with Women Like Me and the Department for Transport.
Rachel said: “I’m proud of how confident the T Level has made me. I pushed myself to do more things. It will put me ahead of others because most jobs are looking for experience of the workplace. I also started to research apprenticeships as my next step and realised that university wasn’t the only option.”
Lloyds Banking Group was one of the first employers to work with IfATE on the industry placement aspect of T Levels in Manchester, Halifax and London. John Banks, Apprenticeship Delivery Manager at Lloyds, said everyone at the organisation sees the value in the initiative.
Joe also said: “We heard about T Levels in their infancy from IfATE - we already have a suite of talent propositions and we felt that T Level placements were a natural fit. As well as being a fantastic initiative in isolation, the placements will also help create a talent pipeline – if the students enjoy a successful placement, we can potentially bring them in on apprenticeships after completing their T Level, for example.” He has nothing but admiration for the very first T Level students and encourages others to follow in their footsteps if they have a passion for technical learning. “I have seen first-hand people who thrive from this type of learning, both at T Level and on our apprenticeship programmes, and would also encourage other employers to explore how they can get involved.”
IfATE also supports employers to develop apprenticeships, which are another great option for students getting their T Level, A Level and GCSE results (on 25 August). As well as all the traditional trades, they now train tomorrow’s economists, nurses, aerospace engineers, countryside rangers, brewers, laboratory scientists, graphic designers and even archaeologists. They range from level 2 (GCSE equivalent) up to degree level and are jobs – so apprentices earn a wage and do not pay tuition fees. Well over 300,000 people started on apprenticeships last year and there are currently more than 700,000 training through apprenticeships in total.
Ishaaq Saleem, is a 21-year-old environmental practitioner degree apprentice at Arup, which is a London-based firm that provide design, engineering, architecture, planning and advisory services.
Ishaaq said: “My advice to those considering doing an apprenticeship is to make use of all the available resources as you make your decision. For example, using the IfATE website was really useful as it has all of the possible apprenticeships listed out there – about 650 of them! There will definitely be an option out there for everyone.”
More facts and statistics:
- Around 1,000 students who started their T Level in 2020 have received results for the first wave of T Level subjects: Education and Childcare; Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction; and Digital Production, Design and Development. In 2021, seven more T Levels were introduced including in healthcare and science. Further T Levels for finance, accounting, legal services, engineering, manufacturing, management and administration, hair, barbering and beauty, media and broadcast, and agriculture will be introduced from 2022 and 2023. Plans are also in train to introduce a T Level for marketing from 2025.
- Many of the first cohort of T Level students have already secured a university offer, an apprenticeship, or a job.
- Other employers who have so far provided T Level work placements include the NHS, Lloyds Banking Group, Balfour Beatty and Wilmott Dixon for construction, and games and immersive tech firm Infinity 27.
- T Levels involve around 80% learning at school or college and 20% on the job. This differs from apprenticeships which are full time jobs and mostly involve work-based learning but must include an equivalent of six hours a week (around 20% of the week) learning with a college.
- T Levels are accepted by over 120 universities across the country.
- IfATE has worked with employers, training providers, and industry experts to develop progression profiles, which show opportunities available to learners directly after completing a T Level and other opportunities available after further training or experience.
- From September 2022 around 175 further education providers will offer T Levels.
- Technical qualifications within T Levels are regulated by Ofqual. More information can be found here.