Mismatch between T-level requirements and what employers can offer

28 August 2018

Research from the CIPD shows that most businesses cannot meet the 45-day work experience condition required by the new T-levels.

The incoming technical alternatives to A-levels, which are due to be rolled out from September 2020, require students to undertake a work experience placement lasting between 45 and 60 days, covering a minimum 315 hours. 

The CIPD has conducted research with over 2,000 employers. When asked if they could offer a placement to T-levels’ standards, just a quarter (26 per cent) employers said yes. A further fifth (22 per cent) said they could with financial incentive. A quarter (24 per cent) said they could not provide a placement for any length of time. 


Lizzie Crowley, skills adviser at the CIPD said, “These findings shine a light on the potentially fatal mismatch between the amount of work experience T-level students will need to complete their qualification, and what UK employers currently feel able to offer.”


The CIPD report – Reforming technical education: Employers’ views of T-levels – also discovered that 60 per cent of the employers questioned were unaware of T-levels, which formed part of the government’s 2016 post-16 skills plan. However, just under half (44 per cent) said they felt the qualifications would make a positive difference to young people’s employability.


Apprenticeships and skills minister Anne Milton reportedly said:

“T-levels are a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create technical education courses on a par with the best in the world, to provide young people will the skills and experience they need to secure a good job or progress into further training.”  Milton added that her department had collaborated with over 200 employers to tailor the course content and were “keen to work with any and all organisations – including the CIPD – over the next months and years so that young people and employers understand the great opportunity T-levels will provide”.


Read the full press release from the CIPD.