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T-Levels – building on apprenticeships

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The Association for Project Management (APM) identified seven policy issues in its Skills Manifesto that the government will need to tackle to ensure that the UK is well positioned to develop and maintain the skills base required by today’s emerging workforce to compete on the global stage.

Underpinning APM’s manifesto is the need to strengthen the transition from education to work by providing a good skills grounding – both vocational and academic – to build on, while empowering the next generation to make informed career choices. 

APM’s briefing on T-Levels gives an overview of progress, the revised timescales and the opportunities to develop project management as a vocational qualification.

What are T-Levels?

Lord Sainsbury’s 2016 report on technical education, the Post-16 Plan, recommended that 16 year olds should choose between academic and vocational qualifications (dubbed ‘T-Levels’ by the media).  

The recommendations included replacing the current system, comprised of more than 20,000 qualifications, with a framework of 15 routes to skilled employment.

It is currently anticipated that eleven of the fifteen routes will be available as two-year college courses or as apprenticeships, with the remaining four routes available exclusively via apprenticeships (protective services; sales, marketing and procurement; social care; and transport and logistics).


It was announced in the Spring Budget 2017 there will be an increase in spending on technical education. Funding will be increased in line with the roll out of the new system and will equate to over £500 million of additional funding per year once routes are fully implemented. The remaining T-Level routes will still be available as planned in September 2022.

Further details on financial aspects will likely be contained in the Autumn Budget on 22 November 2017.

Relevant APM Publications:

Apprenticeships: an employer guide

APM Skills Manifesto: An agenda for Skills Investment

Download the policy briefing



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