Last reviewed 3 June 2019
A £7 million pilot scheme to help companies cover the costs associated with workplace placements is among new measures intended to increase T Level take-up.
Unveiling the package of support for employers, Education Secretary Damian Hinds explained that, by giving young people the chance to gain vital hands-on workplace experience, industry placements are a critical part of the T Level qualification.
According to the Department for Education (DfE), the package includes £7 million to explore how placement organisations can be helped to cover the costs of equipment, protective clothing and other items needed when hosting a young person.
There is also new guidance aimed at helping both employers and training providers offer placements tailored not only to specific workplaces, but also to individual students.
Among the options that might be considered, the DfE goes on, are offering placements with two employers and enabling students with part-time jobs or caring responsibilities to participate.
The DfE is also to issue what it describes as bespoke “how to” guides, workshops and practical hands-on support for employers, all of which are intended to make it as easy as possible for employers to offer placements.
These T Level industry placements are required to be for a minimum of 315 hours (about 45 days) and to give students the knowledge and skills they need in a workplace environment.
Welcoming the package of measures, CBI Chief UK Policy Director Matthew Fell said that, if T Levels are going to be a success, they will require long-term commitment from Government.
“Support will be most needed for small and medium-sized businesses, so special attention should be paid to these firms,” he commented.
The DfE update on delivery models and support for T Level industry placements can be found at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/802703/Industry_placements_policy_update.pdf.
Comment from Peninsula Employment Law Director Alan Price
Full introduction of T Level placements are still a few years off and it is yet to be fully confirmed how they will work in practice. That said, it is clear that the Government is very keen for companies to allow on-the-job training options for students and young people and is open to providing financial support in order to make this happen.
This could be particularly welcome news for smaller businesses, who may want to offer workplace placements but are put off by the cost of doing so.
Enabling work experience opportunities are not compulsory and these developments do not mean they will be any time soon. However, they can be a valuable way of improving the overall reputation of a company and increasing its exposure.