In 2022, the first T Level students will be looking forward to receiving their results alongside those finding out about their A levels on 18 August.

What are T Levels?

Launched in 2020, T Levels are the government's new gold standard 2-year 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 an industry placement, so students get the opportunity to gain valuable experience of the world of work, and help you get a head-start towards the career you want.

What does a T Level involve?

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. 

What subjects can I study at T Level?

Around 1,000 students who started their T Level in 2020 will receive results on 18 August for the first wave of T Level subjects. These include:

In 2021, seven more T Levels were introduced, including 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 all be introduced from 2022 and 2023. Plans are also in train to introduce a T Level in marketing from 2025.

How do I apply for a T Level?

To apply for a T Level qualification, simply type your postcode into the search box at the T Levels government website, and the nearest colleges offering them should pop up in a list.

You can then visit their webistes to find out more about applying for one of their T Levels, which will usually involve filling out and submitting an application form as a minimum.

Different colleges will have different application processes, so once you've decided which college you'd like to apply to, check you have filled in all the required information accurately, and call the college directly if you have any questions.

From September 2022 around 175 further education providers will offer T Levels.

When do T Level results come out?

In summer 2022, T Levels will share the spotlight with A levels for the first ever results day on 18 August.

Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE, a former FTSE 250 chief executive who chairs IfATE, and is president of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: "It's fantastic that the first ever T Level results will be on the same day as A Levels, so they'll rightly have that 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."

What can I do after my T Levels?

T Levels are accepted by over 120 universities across the country, so moving on to a higher education course is one option open to you once you've completed your qualifications.

IfATE has also 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.

What are the benefits of T Levels?

T Levels offer students another choice after their GCSEs, and have been designed with leading businesses and employers to give everyone the knowledge and skills they need to further their future.

More than 250 businesses – including Fujitsu and Skanska – have been involved, so applicants can be confident their T Level will move them forwards in their career path.

Other employers who have so far provided T Level work placements include Imperial College and NHS Foundation Trust for healthcare, Wilmott Dixon and Baily Garner for construction, and games and immersive tech firm Infinity 27

T Levels will also provide you with the chance to learn what a real career is like while you continue your studies.

Your industry placement will last for at least 45 days – when and how you complete it depends on the T Level, school or college, and employer.

When you pass your T Level, you will get a nationally recognised certificate showing the overall grade you achieved - pass, merit, distinction or distinction*. It will also give details of what you learned on the course to help you move into skilled employment or a higher apprenticeship.

Your T Level will also be worth UCAS points – a T Level Distinction* is worth the same as 3 A levels at A* – and will be recognised by universities and other education providers so you can choose to carry on into higher education if you wish.

T Levels involve more classroom study than apprenticeships, which means you can experience an industry while you continue your studies.

Like A levels, there are no tuition fees to study a T Level if you start before you are 19. Schools and colleges set their own entry requirements, so check their website or contact them direct to find out more.

If you need more time to get ready for a T Level, speak to your school or college about the T Level Transition Programme – a 1-year course designed to prepare you for your chosen T Level.

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:

"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."

What do current T Level students have to say about the course?

In addition to the benefits outlined above, 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. He 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. She 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." 

Where can I find out more about T Levels?

Discover more about this great new qualification at the following websites: