T-levels will offer `gold standard qualifications'
NEW technical T-level qualifications will help the UK "compete globally", Theresa May said, as the first colleges and providers teaching the courses were announced.
The vocational qualifications, which are intended as to have an equal status to A-levels, are a "vital part of our industrial strategy", the prime minister said.
The first courses will be taught from September 2020, and Education Secretary Damian Hinds said they would equip youngsters with the skills needed for "the jobs of tomorrow".
The announcement that 52 colleges and post-16 providers in England will teach the new courses comes after the senior official at the Department for Education raised concerns about the timetable for the project.
Courses in construction, digital and education and childcare will be taught from September 2020.
A further 22 courses will be rolled out in stages from 2021.
The prime minister said: "Everyone should be able to have access to an education that suits them, but we know that for those that don't choose to go to university, the routes into further technical and vocational training can be hard to navigate.
"That's why we're making the most significant reform to advanced technical education in 70 years to ensure young people have gold standard qualifications open to them whichever route they choose.
"T-levels provide a high-quality, technical alternative to A-levels ensuring thousands of people across the country have the skills we need to compete globally - a vital part of our modern industrial strategy."
Mr Hinds said: "T-levels represent a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reform technical education in this country so we can rival the world's best performing systems."
He added: "Technology and the world economy are fast-changing, and we need to make sure our young people have the skills they need to get the jobs of tomorrow."