T-Level Courses For 16 Year Olds


T-Level courses are to be offered for 16 year olds in the UK from 2020 and will be equivalent to 3 A-Levels. Designed to ensure our young people acquire the skills our economy so desperately needs, students will experience a clear path into employment.

Independent Panel On Technical Education Report

2015 saw the establishment of the Independent Panel on Technical Education chaired by Lord David Sainsbury. The panel’s report published in 2016 commenced by stating that it was 100 years since the first report highlighted the failure of technical education in the UK.

Successive governments have failed to rectify the system resulting in a serious shortage of technicians in industry today, despite over 400,000 16-24 year olds being unemployed (in 2016). The report highlights that the successful education systems elsewhere in the world have well understood national systems of qualifications.

Whilst pointing out the UK has 13,000 non-academic courses it adds the statement that young people will only work hard to get a qualification, and value it highly when they get it, if employers when recruiting give priority to individuals who possess it. There should be clear educational routes which lead to employment in specific occupations, and career advisers must be able to easily explain to young people what options they have.

The report proposes fifteen Technical Education Routes being:

  1. Agriculture, Environment and Animal Care
  2. Business and Administrative
  3. Catering and Hospitality
  4. Children and Education
  5. Construction
  6. Creative Design
  7. Digital
  8. Engineering and Manufacturing
  9. Hair and Beauty
  10. Health and Science
  11. Legal, Finance and Accountancy
  12. Protective Services
  13. Sales, Marketing and Recruitment
  14. Social Care
  15. Transport and Logistics

To access the full 2016 report click here.


The Government’s Response, May 2018

The Education Secretary, Damian Hinds has announced new T-Level qualifications. T-Levels will each be worth three A-Levels and will change the perception of technical education.

The courses are backed by big business and will allow youngsters to flourish and help Britain to compete globally. Lloyds, IBM and Skanska are among the top firms already backing the plans.

Theresa May stated that T-Levels will provide young people with “gold-standard qualifications open to them whichever route they choose” and will provide a high quality technical alternative to A-levels.

For too long young people have not had a genuine choice in their educational advancement. A-levels have been a route to University and after three years wasted on a “mickey-mouse” course which has little or no route to future employment. With fees in excess of £9,000 a year many students and parents are realising that there are more lucrative futures in specialist trades including administration posts such as IT and accountancy.

In a world where high quality skills are increasingly hard to find our young non-academic youth has as much to offer society as those choosing a University education.

2020 will see the first T-Level courses and will include Digital (including website construction and computer maintenance) and 2021 will be the addition of T-Levels for Legal, Finance and Accounting. Pupils who study T-Levels will be able to go straight into work afterwards (at the age of 18) or on to undertake a modern apprenticeship, a professional qualification or even a degree.

Courses That Lead To Employment

T-Levels are being supported by £60 million of funding in 2018/19, £445 million in 2021/22 and eventually over £500 million. Lord Sainsbury who chaired the 2016 report has called on young people, their parents and employers to “embrace” the exciting opportunities of T-Levels.

Central to the new initiative is the involvement of employers. Course content is to be created by expert panels of employers to make sure the pupils gain the skills needed for future employment. Standards will be overseen by watchdog Ofqual and the Institute of Apprenticeships.

All courses will include a compulsory 3-month industry placement to ensure students experience real life on the job training as well as covering the course work and taking exams. Having studied content that has been set by employers and having undertaken work experience the students will have a clear understanding of their employment path.

Damian Hinds, the Education Secretary, sums it up:

“I want to make sure that when a 16-year-old signs up to a technical or vocational course, what they are getting is absolutely of the highest standard, so they can have confidence in it, their parents can have confidence in it and whoever they go to work for can have confidence in it too”.

In The Interim

The first two-year courses are due to commence in 2020, which will present industry with the first T-Level trained employees in mid-2022.

We have an immediate need for skills in all the suggested educational routes and at Admin Advice we have focused on the early day needs of all businesses – bookkeeping/accounting and website construction/marketing. With nearly half a million businesses commencing in the UK every year, the demand for help with understanding and performing these administrative tasks can only grow.

Find Time To Learn


Whatever your current situation, do try to find some time to learn new skills. The most successful business people still set aside time to learn. Becoming aware within new subjects can open alternative income opportunities, full-time, part-time or spare-time.

Learn with the intention of starting a business of your own, learn with the intention of improving or even changing your current employment, learn in readiness for returning to the workplace, learn with the intention of making some part-time incomes or learn purely out of interest in the subject and keeping the mind active.

Bookkeeping Skills

Within Admin Advice we give you the opportunity to test yourself to see whether bookkeeping would be a subject you could find interesting. We present a course of seven free lessons together with suggestions on the route to take towards a professional qualification.

To view our bookkeeping course content click here.

Website Development

Everything digital is fast moving, ever-changing and covers a wide spectrum. Website development incorporates all the means of marketing – YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter and more. Every website has to cover issues of security, data protection, hosting and more. Whilst just about everyone can now learn to build their own websites, you really must be sure of having the ongoing backup of highly skilled real world entrepreneurs who are dedicated to your success.

Our recommendations for tuition and full facilities that make life easier and more efficient for running a business and ultimately take people to the level of success they desire are covered in our articles:

Simple Website Tutorials click here

and Small Business Website Advice click here

I invite you to leave any comments or questions on these topics in the area below and I will be very pleased to respond.


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