Have you ever wondered what the A in A-Level stood for? With the arrival of the new T-Level qualifications, it’s time to find out: It transpires that A is for Academic and reflects the focus for the achievement of this qualification.

The newly created  T-Level has arisen from a full review of vocational education and has led to the creation of a new qualification with a more technical focus. The T-Level is the equivalent of 3 A-Levels, and will follow immediately after GCSEs for 16-18-year-olds in the same way. This new qualification will be available in some occupations as soon as Autumn 2020 and offers a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ training.

The T-Level qualification consists of several components:

  • An approved technical qualification, from an approved awarding organisation
  • A meaningful work placement with an employer lasting between 45-60 days in their chosen industry
  • English, maths and digital requirements
  • Any license requirements to practice in that occupation

The T-Level is set to become a popular choice for students after GCSE’s. The qualification will be available alongside the more traditional apprenticeships and A-Levels initially and provide further options for students.  Depending on the students’ choice, options of study range from 80% on-the-job and 20% in the classroom or a more academic educational route to a particular occupation.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

“T Levels represent a once in a lifetime opportunity to reform technical education in this country so we can rival the world’s best performing systems.

For too long young people have not had a genuine choice about their future aged 16. Whilst A Levels provide a world class academic qualification, many technical education courses are undervalued by employers and don’t always provide students with the skills they need to secure a good job – that has to change.”

Whatever initial route a student chooses, there will be further visibility and flexibility on moving between academic routes and technical routes in order to gain skilled employment.  It will become easier to progress from technical qualifications to go to university, helping to deliver a population that have the skills and knowledge the country needs to compete globally.

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