£1.6 billion T Level budget pledge ‘critical to levelling up’

The Government’s £1.6 billion budget pledge to roll out T Levels to more 16 to 19-year-olds has been welcomed by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF).

During his 27 October 2021 autumn budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said that the T Level funding is part of a skills revolution that will transform post-16 education.

The Chancellor also announced:

  • £830 million to continue a five-year scheme to revamp and modernise colleges
  • £550 million investment for adult skills in England
  • £170 million for apprenticeships and training.

Jenny Jarvis, Deputy CEO of the ETF, said:

“T Levels offer a new opportunity for young people to realise their potential. As well as providing a way for employers to address skills gaps, they are also critical to the Government’s levelling up agenda.”

She added:

“While expanding T Levels has the potential to enhance our education system, they will only be as good as the staff who teach them. It is also important to support our brilliant teachers and enhance the prestige of teaching in further education, and the ETF’s T Level Professional Development offer aims to do just that.”

T Levels are new two-year Level 3 courses that are equivalent to three A Levels. They have been developed with employers and businesses to meet the needs of industry and to prepare learners for work, further training or study.

T Levels combine classroom theory, practical learning and industry placements of approximately 45 days to make sure learners have real experience of the workplace.

The first T Levels, taught by a small group of colleges and schools, launched in September 2020. In September 2021, they expanded to a new range of subjects. More will be introduced in 2022 and 2023.

The Government has made a commitment to ‘level up’ the country, with skills and lifelong learning increasingly seen as fundamental to the agenda.

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