Association of Employment and Learning Providers
Press release – 30 November 2017
‘Government gets it right on work experience element of T levels but it must recognise level 2 attainment’
16 to 18 year olds should be allowed to study technical education at level 2 if the government is serious about social mobility for young people.
The call came as the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) welcomed the publication of the DfE’s consultation on the technical education reforms resulting from the Sainsbury review and Justine Greening’s Skills Summit speech where she made an explicit link to improving Britain’s skills and the social mobility agenda.
AELP believes that the reforms present an exciting opportunity for independent training providers and colleges to offer an alternative to apprenticeships and university for school leavers to acquire technical skills.
Training providers are pleased that the consultation has left open the door for recognising attainment at level 2 as a stand-alone achievement whether it’s via an apprenticeship or the classroom.
AELP supports the government’s robust stance on a T level work placement lasting between 3 months which is essential to enhance the learner’s employment prospects. This is why involving employers and training providers in the design and implementation of the reforms is vital to a successful roll-out.
Clarity is needed on what provision in the so-called ‘transition year’ is needed to support school leavers not yet ready to start a T level and the role that Traineeships could play in this. It may also be a mistake to restrict the support to a 12-month duration.
It’s also important to get right what happens after a learner has completed a programme and partial completions could be a cover for a reintroduction of the much discredited and subsequently banned ‘programme led apprenticeships’.
AELP will oppose any attempt to make T levels the only technical route for certain sectors as opposed to a choice between doing a T level and an apprenticeship. Care and construction are good examples of where a mix of options works well.
AELP CEO Mark Dawe said:
‘This welcome consultation gives us the opportunity to say that there should be a formal level 2 qualification with its own recognition however it is packaged. Without it, we won’t see much progress on realising the Secretary of State’s social mobility agenda. We also need to be very clear on what progression is expected from a level 3 T level and ensure that it is achievable.
‘The government must stand firm on the amount of work experience provided. We agree with CBI that it represents a challenge for employers and providers but in the interests of our young people, this cannot be watered down.
‘Independent training providers are ready to work with employers, colleges and other partners to make T levels an effective route alongside apprenticeships for tackling Britain’s skills challenges.’
Link to DfE consultation: https://consult.education.gov.uk/technical-education/implementation-of-t-level-programmes/