T Levels – the new technical alternative to A Levels

T Levels are brand new technical qualification starting in September 2020, which will follow GCSEs and will be equivalent to three A Levels. T Levels will combine classroom theory, practical learning and an industry placement of at least 45 days with an employer to make sure students have real experience of the workplace.

What’s different about T Levels?

The two year T Levels courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content will meet the needs of industry and prepare students for technical careers. They provide the knowledge and experience needed to open the door to highly skilled employment, an apprenticeship or higher level study.

All T Levels will include a 45 day industry placement with an employer so that students can apply their learning in a real workplace environment. Around 80% of time will be spent in the classroom with the remaining 20% being spent on placement. This differs to an Apprenticeship, which is typically 80% on-the-job and 20% in the classroom and more suited to those who feel ready to enter the workforce at 16.

Industry placements can be undertaken as a block, as individual days, or a combination of the two, depending on the model which works best for the employer, young person and the college.

Further information is included in the FAQs below.


What subjects are available?
The first T Levels in Construction, Digital, and Education and Childcare will be offered in September 2020 by selected colleges and schools. Nelson and Colne has been chosen as a trailblazer and will deliver Digital Production Design and Development, and Education, and is the only college in East Lancashire chosen by the Department for Education. More subjects will be offered in the years that follow with students able to take a T Level in the following subject areas: • Accounting • Agriculture, Land Management and Production • Animal Care and Management • Building Services Engineering • Catering • Craft and Design • Cultural Heritage and Visitor Attractions • Data and Digital Business Services • Design, Development and Control • Design, Surveying and Planning • Digital Production, Design and Development • Digital Support and Services • Education • Finance • Hair, Beauty and Aesthetics • Health • Healthcare Science • Human Resources • Legal • Maintenance, Installation and Repair • Management and Administration • Manufacturing and Process • Music, Broadcast and Production • Onsite Construction • Science
Who are T Levels for?
T Levels are ideal for post-GCSE students who want to get into a skilled job and expect to achieve 5 GCSE passes at grade 4 or above including English and Maths.
Where can you study T Levels?
Nelson and Colne College will be the only provider in East Lancashire offering T Levels in 2020, with an increasing number of schools, colleges and independent training providers offering them from 2021 onwards.
What are the entry requirements?
Nelson and Colne College will publish its T Level entry requirements in August 2019, but those choosing to study a T Level will be expected achieve 5 GCSE passes at grade 4 or above including English and Maths.
I’m an employer – what are the benefits of T Levels to my business?
By employing T Level students for an industry placement and creating opportunities for them to get on the career ladder, you will not only bring the right skills and knowledge into your business but will boost your reputation and strengthen links with your local community. T Levels are a way for employers to build their workforce and the business Benefits include: • Extra resources for day-to-day tasks or one-off projects • Growing the skills your business needs • Upskilling existing staff through coaching and mentoring • A cost-effective recruitment pipeline for entry-level jobs • Bringing in imaginative and new ideas • A diverse and creative workforce • An opportunity to provide a positive experience for a young person