LABC’s Head of Guidance David Ewing, has been working with construction industry leaders and the Department of Education on the scope for the new Construction T Level qualification.
The Design, Surveying and Planning T Level Panel convened to identify the requirements of the industry’s future workforce and have finalised their scope and brief for the T Level’s educational requirement. The next step will be for the Dept of Education to roll out the tender process to educational providers.
David said: “This is a significant milestone in the development of a high quality technical education. I am privileged to have been able to contribute to its development. The construction industry needs more qualified and experienced people and we will do all we can to make sure the new T Level is a success.”
What are T levels?
T levels are new technical qualifications that are promising to simplify the process of vocational training in England.
The lack of skills amongst the workforce is constantly cited by employers as a "major concern" according to the Treasury. The UK is currently placed 16 out of 20 developed economies when it comes to how many people have a technical education.
The government describes its plans as the "biggest overhaul of post-school education in 70 years."
The aim is to have teenagers "work fit" in a number of key industries which will help bolster the UK's workforce after Brexit (Britain's exit from the European Union) in 2020.
T levels will allow 16 to 19-year-olds to study in 15 sectors including catering and hospitality, construction, social care, engineering and manufacturing; amongst others to be brought in by 2022. The courses will replace the current 13,000 qualifications with 15 and it's claimed they will make access to the job market easier.
Students in further education or technical college will also be eligible for maintenance loans.
Those who decide to study a technical T Level will spend 50% longer learning than they do at the moment, equalling 900 hours of teaching a year. It is likely T levels will be taught in college rather than school and will be a two-year course.
Building a better future for the construction industry
In construction, everyone will take a core first year with a much larger emphasis on practical work and then ‘specialise’ in a particular trade or occupation such as bricklaying or carpentry in the second year. Each student will also do a three-month work placement as part of their course.
Dayle Bayliss, Chartered Building Surveyor and Director of Dayle Bayliss Ltd, who chaired the Design, Surveying and Planning T Level Panel, said: “Being involved in the design and shape of the T-Level in Construction has been an exciting 12 months. To work with a team of enthusiastic and passionate individuals who are dedicated to reforming and delivering employer led training has been an honour and rewarding opportunity.
"Seeing the T Level take shape, and a proposal that promotes the opportunities and future of sector really demonstrates the employee led and collaborative approach to these proposals. It is now the opportunity for providers to take forward our vision and turn this into reality."
"For myself, involvement in the Construction T Level has been driven by a desire to shake off some of the myths around the sector and really showcase the variety of opportunities that exist, whilst reforming some of the challenges that exist through the education of next generation of construction professionals.
"This really is an opportunity to shape the future of our industry and reform, diversify and innovate.”
The first T levels will be introduced in September 2020 with full roll-out intended from September 2023.