T Levels explained

T levels explained

T Levels

What are T Levels

T-levels are a government-backed, career focused qualifications for 16 to 19 year olds, with many going on to study a T-level straight after their GCSEs.

They are part of a drive to strengthen the technical education system in England and give young people the knowledge and skills they need to gain good jobs.

Each two-year course has been designed with employers from multiple sectors and combines classroom study with a 45-day industry placement.

Are there any employer costs?

T Level industry placements are a free government scheme – you don’t need to pay to take on a T Level student for a placement. 

There may be certain business costs, like time invested in planning, training and supervising, and you can also choose to pay the student if you wish.

What are the employer responsibilities?

Employers need to provide:

  • a safe work environment.
  • opportunities for the student to develop their technical skills within your industry.
  • a line manager to support, supervise and mentor the student.
  • an induction which includes explaining relevant policies and procedures.
  • formal feedback on the student’s progress against the agreed learning goals at the end of the placement.
  • You will need to provide the relevant access to your systems and equipment as the student will need to complete the agreed learning goals.

Working hours

Most placements will take place during the normal working day, but also recognise that in some occupations it may involve working outside normal working hours. You should agree working patterns with your training provider as part of the work plan discussion.

DBS checks

Employers do not generally need to carry out a basic, standard or enhanced Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) check on members of staff supervising young people aged 16 or 17. This includes freelancers.

However, your training provider may ask a manager or supervisor to undergo a basic DBS check if they feel this is necessary.

Benefits of T Levels

T Levels can support employers by offering early access to a talent pipeline for entry-level positions. It can also help with recruitment, improve innovation and increase an organisation’s productivity.

The Course

The student will spend 80% of their time in a classroom and 20% on a minimum 9-week placement with an employer. This means that they will learn what a real career is like while they continue with their studies.

Grades needed to take a T Level

Schools and colleges set their own entry requirements, so students will need to check their chosen provider’s websites to find out what GCSE grades they will need.

T Level courses available now:

Business and Administration

Management and Administration


Building Services Engineering for Construction

Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction

Onsite Construction


Digital Business Services

Digital Production, Design and Development

Digital Support Services

Education and Early Years

Education and Early Years

Engineering and Manufacturing

Design and Development for Engineering and Manufacturing

Engineering, Manufacturing, Processing and Control

Maintenance, Installation and Repair for Engineering and Manufacturing

Health and Science


Healthcare Science


Legal, Finance and Accounting



Starting September 2023:

Agriculture, Environment and Animal care

Agriculture, Land Management and Production

Legal, Finance and Accounting

Legal Services

Starting September 2024:

Animal Care and Management

Craft and Design

Hairdressing, Barbering and Beauty Therapy

Media, Broadcast and Production

Starting September 2025:


Sales, Marketing and Procurement

Not all schools and colleges will offer every T-level, so it’s best to check what is available in your local area.

After your T Level

A T Level is worth the same UCAS points as 3 A levels. They can use UCAS points to apply to a university or another type of higher education.

They can also use their T Level to do a related higher level apprenticeship or to get a job.

Finding your nearest T Level provider

If you would like to offer work placements in your organisation, nearly 70 schools and colleges already offer T Levels. More than 400 colleges are expected to start offering them by September 2024 so check out what is covered in your area and see how you can get involved.

To find out where your nearest one is – T Levels near me

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