We’re helping more universities and research institutes across the UK to host technical T Level industry placements in health and science, engineering and manufacturing and digital.
Hosting T Level science placements within technical teams boosts technical skills, increasing capacity and capability in the higher education and research sector.
What are T Levels?
A T Level qualification is equivalent to three A levels and helps young people develop the knowledge, attitude and practical skills to progress into skilled employment, an apprenticeship or further higher education study.
The aim of T Levels is to provide on-the job involvement and practice, over two years, whilst studying towards a level 3 qualification.
What is a T Level placement?
The 45-day employer placements give young people an opportunity to experience how health and science, engineering and manufacturing and digital translates into work.
T Level placements within universities or research institutes will help young people discover the world of technicians in academia, research and innovation settings.
“We urge employers to invest in apprenticeship and trainee technician programmes and to host work placement schemes for technical qualifications where possible. (e.g T Level placements in England)”
TALENT Commission Report (Feb 2022)
Benefits of hosting a T Level industry placement
Hosting T Level industry placements within higher education and research technical teams has several benefits for the organisation.
- Inspires the next generation of technicians.
- Fulfils the recommendation published in the TALENT Commission Report (Feb 2022) to help broaden technical career pathways and provide clear entry routes into technical careers.
- Helps universities and research institutions get early access to individuals for recruitment of technical apprentice roles.
- Boosts technical capability and capacity to help meet future demand health, science, engineering and manufacturing and digital.
- Creates career development opportunities for your staff who act as student mentors.
Starting your T Level journey
We can offer support to universities and research institutes in several ways. Our dedicated University T Level Support Manager Jo Hartley-Metcalfe can:
- Provide advice to university management, technical teams, HR, mentors, health and safety departments and anyone who needs support to successfully set up and host T Level industry placements.
- Connect universities with local T Level providers.
- Support initial set up requirements.
- Provide ongoing support to the technical teams and mentors who have day-to-day contact with students on placement.
- Find out more in the T Level employers guide
Promoting science placements and technical career pathways
- Promote universities involved with T Levels to drive the ongoing commitment to technical careers.
- Build connectivity and community across the sector around hosting industry placements
- Capture learning from universities as they begin to offer industry placements
- Raise awareness of how placements lead to career progression within your institution.
Universities T Level Support Manager
“This is not just ‘work experience’, this is a fantastic opportunity that will allow young people to immerse themselves in the exciting world of technicians. Hosting T Level science placements within technical teams is just one way universities can increase technical skills to support research and teaching.”
T Level industry placement FAQs
Who can host a T Level placement?
UK employers within science, engineering & manufacturing and digital services can host a 45-day T Level placement, this includes UK universities and research institutions.
Are UK universities and research institutes currently offering T Level placements?
Yes, although the number is limited. The UK Institute for Technical Skills and Strategy is working to support universities and research institutes to start their journey to host T Level placements, increasing the number of higher education and research employers offering placements nationally.
When do placements take place during the year, and can I influence this?
Most placements are likely to commence midway through an individual’s first year of study, when students have a good level of technical knowledge and skills they have learned from the classroom and are suitably prepared for the workplace.
Providers will make sure they have the right work ethic and a good understanding of the professional behaviours expected in the workplace.
Do T Level placement hosts have to pay students?
You are under no obligation to pay students but can choose to do so if you wish. This is because T Level industry placements are about providing students with high quality, meaningful training, not work.
Will I be reimbursed for the costs associated with hosting a T Level industry placement?
The employer support fund may be available through the provider. It provides support with legitimate costs associated with T Level industry placements find out more here.
Why should a university host T Level placements, if they are about vocational study, rather than academic?
T Level placements have many benefits for the host employer, as well as the individual. Universities can engage individuals early for recruitment of technical apprentice roles, degree apprenticeships, or further study into higher education.
It is important to note that many technical professionals can come from either a vocational or academic background, the T Level placements provide another route in technical careers pathways and raises visibility of the critical role technicians play in higher education, research and innovation.