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  • APGSE T Levels

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Skills and Employment hosted a roundtable in Parliament this week, bringing together parliamentarians, employers, awarding bodies, providers and sector bodies to discuss the Government’s new T Levels.  

Chaired by Nic Dakin MP, the APGSE were addressed by Sarah Young, Head of Government and Parliamentary Relations at the Careers Enterprise Company and Emily Chapman, Vice President (FE) of the National Union of Students.Sarah highlighted the importance of anchor employers taking a leadership role to generate momentum and encourage local SMEs to offer placements. Emily highlighted the need for adequate financial support for students, particularly in relation to travel.The wider discussion focused on the work experience component of T Levels which the Government describes as: ‘Offering' students a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 45 days.

They will provide the knowledge and experience needed to open the door into skilled employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship.’This has been the source of sector contestation for some time. For example, the Federation of Small Businesses have expressed public concern regarding uptake among SMEs. Regional disparities in access and absence of incentives represent wider concerns, while programme pilots, such as South Thames College who were represented at the roundtable by their Principal, have done little to quell concerns.Government consultation is currently taking place on post-16 level three qualifications. While T Levels are explicitly excluded from this, we are interested in how their implementation will affect the wider skills ecosystem. For example, BTECs and their future status was a central question of attendees at our roundtable – they were clear that T Levels should not simply be a replacement.

Policy Connect will therefore be submitting a response to the consultation in partnership with the APGSE’s membership.Parliamentary questions will be submitted by Policy Connect to follow up on the issues raised at the roundtable and we look forward to reporting back.