White paper Skills Plan mismatch

The initial focus for T Levels has been as a programme for 16-18 year olds. Yet there is a larger group of young people who could benefit from T Levels – those aged 19-23. Approximately 3.2m 18-24 year olds in England are not in full-time education but over 75% of them (2.5m) are in employment. It’s employed 18-24 year olds not in full-time education who the government will predominantly need to target and encourage onto full and part-time T Levels.

The difficulty in engaging this age group is in supporting them in their studies. Over 1 in 10 young adults aged 18-24 in employment but not in full-time education are on zero-hour contracts, self-employed or agency workers. In addition, 9% of all 18-24 year olds – non-student jobs and student-jobs – earn near or below the minimum wage whilst over 50% earn below the living wage. Young adults funding their living costs to study full-time T Levels from earnings will always put their job and earnings ahead of studies, unless there are other ways to support themselves.

As 18-24 year olds on full-time Level 4-6 higher education programmes are entitled to maintenance loans, Mark Corney makes the point that these could be extended to include 18-24 year olds undertaking technical education. He writes ‘The aim of maintenance loans is to facilitate participation on T Levels by 19-23 year olds. Full-time maintenance loans will cover the living costs of 19-23 year olds on T Levels who want to be full-time students first and workers second. If part-time T Levels for 19-23 year olds are introduced, part-time maintenance loans will ease the financial pressure of young adults to put earning before part-time learning’.

If the participation of young adults could be supported in this way, the positive impact on the growth of technical education and the success of T Levels would be much greater. We believe they would help to increase uptake of T Levels as a valued route into employment for young people.

Read white paper

Kylie Aldridge
Kylie Aldridge
In recent years, there’s been continued focus and press attention about young peoples’ mental health, putting it at the forefront of the minds of educators.
Kylie Aldridge
Kylie Aldridge
It’s not an exaggeration to say that technology is revolutionising education making it a fantastic time to be teaching.
David Redden
David Redden
An article by TES recently highlighted new Department for Education data which revealed that 2 in 3 students who resit their English and maths GCSEs make no progress.
Rachel Hopkins
Rachel Hopkins
NCFE takes a look at how you can embrace technology in the classroom and use it to help advance learning in vocational and academic subjects.
Michael Lemin
Michael Lemin
To those who work in schools, you may feel somewhat isolated from the onset of T Levels.
Karyn Taylor
Karyn Taylor
Karyn Taylor, Curriculum Officer at NCFE, looks at how you can develop your pupils' creative thinking in the classroom and why machines will never take over the creative industries.
David Gallagher
David Gallagher
Michael Lemin
Michael Lemin