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Supporting health and social care providers in Devon

T Levels

What are T Levels?

Launched in September 2020, T Levels are a 2-year qualification for 16-19 years who have finished their GCSEs and an alternative to A Levels. Completing a T Level is the equivalent of 3 A Levels and offer young people the opportunity to gain practical knowledge and skills through a mixture of classroom based learning and on-the-job experience in the workplace. T Level students spend 80% of their course within the classroom and 20% in an industry placement with an employer. Students are required to complete an industry placement of 315 hours (approximately 45 days minimum) as part of the T Level course. Employers can offer placements as a block, day release or a mix of these. T Levels have been developed in collaboration with employers and education providers to deliver content that meets the needs of the industry and prepares students to enter the workforce.

What are the benefits as an employer to hosting a T Level student?

Creating a student an industry placement for a T Level student gives employers an opportunity to build their future workforce by supporting young people to develop their employability skills and transition into work. There is no cost to recruiting a T Level student however employers will need to invest time in planning, training and supervising the student. T Levels can be used for talent pipelines for entry-level positions or higher apprenticeships can be used to offer further learning and development. T Levels can help with recruitment and retention issues and improve innovation as T Level students can bring in new ideas and ways of thinking while supporting the day-today tasks and projects. Creating a T Level industry placement can give aspiring managers within the organisation can opportunity to develop by gaining manager experience by overseeing the placement or an opportunity for staff to practice their mentoring skills.

Health T Level

In the health T Level, all students will develop a general understanding of health and science. They will cover working within the health and science sector, health, safety and environmental regulations, managing information and data, principles of good scientific and clinical practice, and core science concepts. They will also learn about topics specific to health, including understanding the healthcare sector, providing person-centred care, supporting health and wellbeing, further knowledge of both human anatomy and physiology and of diseases and disorders and infection prevention and control.

In addition to the core content, there is the option to specialise supporting different teams including adult nursing team, midwifery team, mental health team, care of children and young people and supporting the therapy teams.

Our mission

There are huge changes happening within the Vocational Qualification sector and the removal of some health and social care courses by 2025 and, if left unchallenged, could have a markedly detrimental impact on the potential to recruit from the Further Education market into Social Care. We are working with local colleges and social care providers to:

  • To increase placements in social care for the health T-Level
  • To ensure that the T-Level is renamed to include Social Care
  • To have a dedicated occupational specialism pathway in the second year of the qualification for social care

Myth busting

Myth Fact
It’s a T-Level in Health and so there is no social care content in the taught curriculum We are working with the curriculum and teaching staff from colleges and schools to ensure that the taught content will be applied to social care as well as health e.g. application of policies in both areas. We have already mapped the set learning objectives to social care – a high percentage of the first year content applies to both sectors.
Placements can only be held in a health setting We are working with all stakeholders to include social care placements in the first (generic) year of study. It is hoped that social care will also get its own occupational specialism strand which will specifically be for those who want a career in this field.
If I do a T-Level in health, I won’t be able to work in the social care sector T-Level in health will not stop you from applying for jobs in other parts of the health and social care sector – the learning is relevant to all roles.
The T-Level is very clinical-based – this is not relevant for social care The first year of the T-Level focuses more on the skills and knowledge you need to be able to work in the sector – for example, health & safety regulations, communication, person-centred care, etc. There is minimal clinical content. However, it is worth noting that some care settings may like you to have some clinical experience – nursing homes and domiciliary care will see this as an advantage. This will mainly be taught in the second year as part of the occupational specialism.
There are no social care providers doing placements for T-Level students We are working with care providers (starting with those who have had BTEC students) to help them understand more about the programme and the benefits of having a T-Level student.
I will need a lot of additional staff and resources for students. Students will work alongside care staff and will not require additional equipment and/or resources. Employers need to provide:

  • A safe work environment
  • Opportunities for the student to develop their technical skills within your industry
  • A line manager to support, supervise and mentor the student
  • An induction which includes explaining relevant policies and procedures
  • Formal feedback on the student’s progress against the agreed learning goals at the end of the placement
It will be expensive for me to have a T-level student on placement

T Level industry placements are a free government scheme – you don’t need to pay to take on a T Level student for a placement. There may be certain business costs, like time invested in planning, training and supervising, and you can choose to pay the student if you wish (bank/zero hours contracts).

There is an employer support fund which provides funding to support legitimate costs that an employer incurs when offering a T Level industry placement opportunity.

Social Care Providers have no use for T-Level in Health students T Levels can support employers by offering timely access to a talent pipeline for entry-level positions, can help with recruitment, increase innovation, and boost productivity. Within each course, students develop an understanding of a broad range of issues relevant to the sector.

Case studies

  • Find out more how Bluebird Care, has embraced industry placements to support the development of its future talent pipeline and to provide first-hand experience of the opportunities available in the health sector.
  • Take a look how Sanctuary Care saw how industry placements add value by promoting healthcare roles in care settings and driving up recruitment and retention to address staffing shortage. Several students have progressed to employment with Sanctuary Care at the end of their placements.

Placements in Social Care- How to get involved.

If you would like more information about T Levels please contact your local college



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