T Levels are the answer to a better trained and more skilled workforce

Dr Joanna Goodman, education consultant, director of Cromwell Consulting Ltd, who helped develop the education and childcare T Level, explains how the qualification will benefit the early years workforce.

According to research published earlier this year, nine in ten parents of children aged six and under agree that early years educators have an essential role to play in their child’s development. That’s why it is so important that staff working with children and young people – who are the most vulnerable in society – have the right knowledge and skills to create positive outcomes for the next generation.

Any modern economy and education system requires a high standard of vocational training in order to increase productivity and upskill its workforce. Job-specific knowledge, behaviours and skills have all become invaluable assets. The Government’s new T Level qualifications, which will launch next year, are designed to teach just that.

Every T Level student must complete an industry placement – of approximately 45 days, or 315 hours, and this will be even longer for those studying the education T Level – which gives them the knowledge they need to progress.   

T Levels have been developed by industry experts, in consultation with employers to bridge the gap between what they need and what young people can offer them. For future employers, T Levels mean students will benefit from a committed workforce, with the relevant qualifications, who made a conscious decision to train for the specific career they wish to pursue.

Individual employers, who opt to provide industry placements, can benefit from additional recruitment opportunities afforded by students on work placements. 

This new qualification, which is the equivalent to three A levels, will be a much more valuable job requirement for those who are still contemplating going to university. The balance between rigorous academic study and practical experience (industry placements are compulsory part of T Levels) that the new qualification will offer, will lead to a rise in standards in vocational study and, ultimately, a better trained and more skilled workforce. 

Schools and nurseries will benefit sooner than most given that education and childcare is one of the very first T Levels to be made available.

T Level students can train to be anything from early years educators to teaching assistants and will receive a level of training that hasn’t previously been widely available. This also means that young people will have a better grasp of what their day-to-day will entail before they kick-start their career and give them the key skills and confidence to get ahead.

I believe young people should have a greater choice of qualifications, including access to high-quality vocational or technical training which has, until now, been largely undervalued in this country and that is why I am so proud to have been involved in the development of T Levels.


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