The news about T-levels had been well trailed in the news, and yesterday the Chancellor made the formal announcement:
“… long ago, our competitors in Germany and the US realised that to compete in the fast moving global economy, you have to link skills to jobs.
And, I am pleased to report, in National Apprenticeship Week, that our apprenticeship route is now, finally, delivering that ambition here, with 2.4 million apprenticeship starts in the last Parliament, and the launch of the Apprenticeship Levy in April supporting a further 3 million apprenticeships by 2020.
But there is still a lingering doubt about the parity of esteem attached to technical education pursued through the further education route. Today we end that doubt for good, with the introduction of T-Levels.
Thanks to the work of Lord Sainsbury, Baroness Wolf and other experts in this field, we have a blueprint to follow. Their review concluded that students need a much clearer system of qualifications. One that is designed and recognised by employers with clear routes into work, more time in the classroom, and good quality work placements. One that replaces the 13,000 or so different qualifications with just 15 clear, career-focused routes.
Delivering on those recommendations is the third part of our plan. So today, we will invest to deliver, in full, these game-changing reforms.
We will increase by over 50% the number of hours training for 16-19 year old technical students, including a high-quality 3-month work placement for every student, so when they qualify, they are genuinely “work-ready”.
Once this programme is fully rolled out, we will be investing an additional £500m a year in our 16-19 year olds.
And to encourage and support the best of them to go on to advanced technical study, we will offer maintenance loans for those undertaking higher level technical qualifications at the new institutes of technology and national colleges. Just as we do for those attending university.”
FEWeek was quick off the mark with an expert opinion piece by David Hughes of AoC with his comments and take on the above. Read that here.
For those interested in what a 55-minute speech looks like on paper, the full budget speech is here.