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T-Level Update

The MTA recently met officials at the Department for Education to discuss how Trade Associations can reduce & focus communications and assist MTA members to engage with and benefit from T-Levels.

Going forward, the MTA will have a dedicated point of contact within the DfE to ease forward communications and keep MTA and members aware of developments in T Levels, with the new standards being created (the first in Engineering & Manufacturing due in 2021) and the requirements for employers to offer work placements.

Many employers have voiced concern over the pressures of offering work intensive work placements, as a result of Tuesday’s meeting – the MTA will have enhanced access to over 100 T-Level Ambassador’s from numerous industries who are leading the development of work placements and advising employers accordingly. The MTA has already identified a small number of such ambassadors in it’s membership. We will also be working with the DfE to produce a framework to assist smaller employers to structure and offer the mandatory 45 day work placement associated with a T-Level.

Engineering & Manufacturing industry panels have advised the DfE that T-Levels should be broad in scope and should steer away from in depth technical specialisms. The DfE’s response is that they are considering these concerns carefully and balancing them with the overall intention for T-Levels which is to prepare a young person for work in a specific occupation rather than introduce a young person to a subject area. The MTA will continue to follow these discussions and report on any conclusions.

There’s currently no clarity as to the fate of existing NVQ and BTEC level 3 qualifications once T-Levels come online. Consultations are ongoing as part of the wider Post-16 Qualifications Review of the 12,000 technical qualifications currently on offer (summary information on this consultation is available by following this link We expect more information to be available in the next 12 months once phase 2 of the consultation is complete.  

MTA’s also have an upcoming meeting with the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education responsible for developing the TQ or ‘Technical Qualification’ part of the T-Level and we expect both the Institute and the DfE to attend MACH Exhibition 2020 to consult and engage directly with MTA members.  

For further information and advice on T-Levels, please contact