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IoD press release IoD calls for further delay to planned defunding of BTECs to allow time to generate T Level capacity

Responding to Education Select Committee’s consultation on the future of post-16 qualifications, the Institute of Directors has called for a further delay to the planned defunding of BTECs to allow for more time to generate employer capacity to provide T level placements, and for more support to help young people to access high-quality work experience.

In a poll of 300 business leaders by the IoD, only 14% indicated that they already offer T Level placements or plan to do so in future, while one third (32%) responded that they were unsure as to whether to do so. When asked why they were not doing so, 42% stated that they did not know enough about what was involved, 29% said that they do not have the necessary infrastructure, and a quarter (25%) cited other business pressures.

Alex Hall-Chen is a Senior Policy Advisor at the IoD. She said:

“The government’s skills strategy, and the introduction of T Levels as rigorous, employer-led qualifications, will raise the status of vocational education. The 45-day industry placement component of T Levels is a particular strength of the qualifications. However, we are concerned about the their practical implementation, and primarily the generation of sufficient demand among employers still recovering from the impacts of the pandemic and the UK’s exit from the EU.

“We welcome the Government’s announcement of a one-year delay to the defunding of BTECs and other applied general qualifications. However, we believe that a longer period of evaluation is still needed before alternative vocational qualifications are defunded.

“We also urge the Government to consider how optional, high-quality work experience can be systematically extended to all young people studying for post-16 qualifications, to help them to develop the employability skills which will enable them to thrive in the workplace.”

The IoD’s full response to the Education Select Committee’s consultation can be found here.

Full survey results

Survey conducted between 10th-29th November 2021.

Would your primary organisation be prepared to offer industry placements as part of a T Level course?

Yes, we are already offering T Level placements
We are not yet offering T Level placements but intend to do so in future
We are not yet offering T Level placements and are unsure about whether to do so in future
No, we would not consider offering T Level placements
Don't know

Why is your primary organisation not currently offering T Level placements? Please select all that apply

We don’t know enough about what is involved
Other business pressures (e.g. Covid-19, Brexit) make engagement difficult
We don’t have the infrastructure needed to host placements
There is too much bureaucracy involved in setting up the placements
The fact that remote placements are not permitted
The relevant T Levels have not yet been rolled out
T Levels are not relevant to our organisation
We prefer to focus on other forms of engagement with schools and colleges
Other (please specify)

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