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For many years, TICA employers have raised the issue of the need for generic qualifications for office-based roles within construction such as finance, project management, contract management, estimating and procurement etc…

We have previously discussed the potential to develop further qualifications to progress after the initial thermal insulation L2 or L3 apprenticeships has been completed, but have always concluded that this would be generic construction skills and not something for TICA to develop as a standalone qualification.

The ongoing development of the L3 Apprentice Standard for Contracting Operations Technicians is one option, T Levels are another option.

T Levels are new qualifications which follow on from GCSEs and are equivalent to 3 A levels.  These 2-year courses, for learners aged 16-18 were launched earlier this year and have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work, further training or study.

Students aged 16 will be offered the choice of a study route if they chose to return to full time education with a T Level being an alternative option to A Levels.

T Levels offer students a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 315 hours (approximately 45 days).

Employers will now be able to consider providing a work placement for new T Level qualifications that are now being delivered by schools and colleges across the UK.

This is almost like an apprenticeship in reverse – which would be 80% ‘on the job’ training with 20% classroom/college.  T level students will spend 80% of their time in college.

T Level courses include the following compulsory elements:

  • a technical qualification, which includes:
  • core theory, concepts and skills for an industry area
  • specialist skills and knowledge for an occupation or career
  • an industry placement with an employer
  • a minimum standard in maths and English if students have not already achieved them

Every T Level includes an industry placement with an employer focused on developing the practical and technical skills required for the occupation.  These will last a minimum of 315 hours (approximately 45 days) but can last longer.  Employers can offer industry placements as a block, day release or a mix of these, and can discuss sharing part of the placement with another employer if necessary.

A T Level qualification will offer UCAS points for entry to universities and it is likely that many students may wish to go on and study a degree apprenticeship in a more defined area of construction following the T Level completion.

Training Providers/Colleges will support employers offering industry placements.  This will include assistance with the necessary paperwork, a careful planning process and support with designing the industry placement.

  • The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and National Apprenticeship Service (part of ESFA) are working with employers and providers on industry placements.

Employers who are interested in finding out more about industry placements can contact 08000 150 600 or email Tlevel.placement@education.gov.uk

The latest update from Gov.uk showing all regional colleges who are registered to deliver the Construction T Level over the next three years can be found here.  The number of Colleges delivering T levels will continue to increase as more courses are developed and approved for delivery.

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