Designed with businesses and employers, T Levels are two-year, technical qualifications designed to give students the skills that industry needs. They bring classroom learning and an extended industry placement together, providing a mixture of:

  • technical knowledge and skills specific to their chosen industry or occupation
  • an industry placement of at least 45 days in their chosen industry or occupation
  • relevant maths, English, and digital skills

T Levels are one of three major options for students to study at level 3. Alongside apprenticeships for those who wish to study and train for a specific occupation, and A levels for students who wish to continue academic education.

1. How do they work?

A T Level is split into three main sections:

  • technical qualification (TQ) is the main, classroom-based element. Students will learn about their chosen sectors through a curriculum designed by employers and developed by an awarding organisation (AO)
  • industry placement runs for a minimum of 315 hours (45 days) overall and will give students practical insights into their sector and an opportunity to embed the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom
  • English, maths and digital provision is also built into the classroom-based element of the T Level, meaning students will be given a solid foundation of transferable skills

2. Why do we need T Levels?

The Independent Panel on Technical Education (chaired by Lord Sainsbury) highlighted the high amount of qualifications available to students. The panel recommended streamlining the number of existing qualifications to simplify the system for students and employers. This included the development of T Levels.

Reforming technical education will help meet the needs of our growing and a rapidly changing economy. Raising the profile of technical education and ensuring that employers recognise and value the skills and experience that it provides.

Within the 15 technical routes set up by the Sainsbury Review, 11 have T Levels planned, with each route having one to three T Levels within it.