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Government offers T-level funding to boost pandemic recovery

The government has announced it will be offering some employers £1,000 of funding for hosting T-level students

The government is offering £1,000 of funding to employers that provide industry placements for T-level students.

Employers can claim £1,000 for each T-level student they support in a bid to help companies that have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic continue to offer placements.

Gillian Keegan, minister for apprenticeships and skills, said: “Employers are already recognising the value that hosting a T-level industry placement can bring to their business, helping them to build the skilled workforce they need for the future. This temporary cash boost will help even more employers to experience the benefits, while also providing young people with invaluable first-hand experience in the workplace.”

There are number of skills gaps across the UK in areas such as digital and technology. Not only do employers claim there are not enough skilled workers to fill technical job roles, but they also feel that not enough is being done to address these shortages.

T-level qualifications were developed as a more technical alternative to A-levels, created in partnership with industry organisations to ensure the qualifications on offer are designed to fill the UK’s talent shortages.

One of the first T-levels available – digital production, design and development – was launched in September 2020 alongside surveying and planning for construction, and education and childcare, with seven more due to become available in due course.

As well as a number of businesses finding it hard both to stay afloat and find talent as a result of the pandemic, younger people aged between 16 and 24 have reportedly been the hardest hit as lockdowns disrupted classroom learning and made job hunting more difficult.

T-level programmes include students taking part in at least 45 days of industry placements with an appropriate employer, something the government hopes will give local businesses the opportunity to train talent with the appropriate skills to plug gaps.

Read more about tech skills

  • The Confederation of British Industry wants an inclusive and innovative economy, with increased research and development investment and better digital intensity and adoption, particularly among SMEs.
  • The need for automation proficiency has more than doubled in the past two years, according to research.

The government also hopes T-levels will help the pandemic recovery by giving young people skills that will lead to future careers, and businesses access to talented workers.

Between 27 May 2021 and July 2022, employers can claim £1,000 for each student they host up to a total of 20, and the government hopes the financial incentive will encourage firms to continue to offer placements despite any continuing pandemic disruption.

Support is also available via the government’s Employer Support Package in the form of online guidance, case studies and workshops.

Over the last few years, funding has also been invested in preparing for the introduction of T-levels, including £8m towards ensuring teachers are prepared to deliver the new qualifications.

Last year, the government announced that £500m of funding would be allocated each year once the qualifications are fully rolled out to help providers cover the cost of teaching hours and admin for industry placements, as well as any equipment or facilities needed.

It also announced the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill this spring in a bid to use lifelong learning to plug skills gaps, increase the UK’s digital capability and adapt to the ever-shifting job market.

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