Shake-up in UK’s technical education moves a step closer

Anne Milton

The biggest shake-up of technical education in decades has moved a step closer as more employers throw their weight behind the development of new T Levels.

Industry experts have been appointed to chair new panels which will lead work on designing the content of the next set of new T Levels so that young people will gain the skills employers and the country need for the future.

From 2022 young people choosing to study the Hair, Beauty and Aesthetics T Level can be confident that they have been developed by world-famous businesses including Toni and Guy; those who opt for an Animal Care and Management T Level will be studying programmes designed by the Dogs Trust; and those looking to develop skills by studying the Human Resources T Level will have had their courses developed by experts from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Welcoming the new panel members, Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said: “I am thrilled these talented industry experts have come on board to help make T Levels a success. They will play a key role in creating a world-class technical education system for our country.

“Introducing T Levels is a once-in-a-generation moment. The direct experience of panel members will help to create gold-standard T Levels that give young people the skills that employers need.”

Dr Steve Dowbiggin, former Principal of Capel Manor College and now business owner with 50 years’ experience in the land-based sector, said: “I am delighted to be chairing the Agriculture, Land Management and Production T Level employer panel, as I am convinced that T Levels will be of major benefit to the Agriculture, Horticulture, Environment and Animal Management and Care sector. This is because T Levels will ensure that the workforce has the experience and qualifications to enable employers to realise the opportunities offered in a post-Brexit world.

“Those gaining T Levels will have achieved a gold standard in skills and knowledge that will greatly improve their employability, career prospects and professional recognition.

Vicky Skinner, Education Manager at Pet Industry Federation, said: “I worked in Further Education for 13 years and more recently with a wide range of animal care employers through my role at the Pet Industry Federation. As a result I can see the difference vocational education can make to a young person’s life and also how it can support the industry, providing individuals with practical skills and knowledge as well as other transferable skills essential when working with animals. The T Level development is an exciting opportunity to help shape vocational education for the next generation ensuring it meets the needs of an evolving sector.”

The employer led panels announced today will shape new T Level programmes in: Animal Care and Management; Agriculture, Land Management and Production; Human Resources; Management and Administration; Catering; Craft and Design; Cultural Heritage and Visitor Attractions; Media, Broadcast and Production; and Hair, Beauty and Aesthetics, and will be first taught from 2022.