DfE scraps T-level subject after employers express ‘viability and deliverability concerns’

The rollout of T-levels has taken another slip after the government canned a subject and delayed the start of two others by a year.

Cultural, heritage and visitor attractions (CHVA) has been removed altogether by the Department for Education after the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education reported that there was “insufficient employer demand” for a new technical qualification in that field.

A spokesperson said that as well as “viability and deliverability concerns”, the T-level employer panel for the proposed subject “raised concerns that the level 3 standards in scope did not accurately reflect positions found in industry”. They also shared concerns that most organisations tend to recruit individuals with graduate or post-graduate degrees.

The IfATE added that the employers who were consulted “felt that the management and administration T-level would be well placed to develop the skills that are relevant to many occupations within the sector”.

It means the total number of T-level subjects set to be rolled out has dropped from 25 to 24.

Meanwhile, the legal and human resources T-levels, which were due to start in September 2022, have been pushed back to 2023.

A DfE spokesperson said the IfATE has assessed the bids put forward to develop these subjects but judged that “these did not meet the minimum quality standards”.

They will therefore “not be awarding contracts for these T-levels in the autumn” and the institute has “taken the decision to postpone the legal and HR T-levels until 2023″ pending a renewed procurement process.

The first three T-levels, in digital, construction and education and childcare, are due to be rolled out from September 2020 with more phased in until 2023.

Many of the providers set to deliver the first of the new qualifications, dubbed to be the “world class” technical alternative to A-levels, have either pulled out or deferred their participation in recent months.

Last week, the government unveiled a “package of support” to encourage more employers to take on T-level learners for substantial work placements of at least 315 hours – including cash incentives of up to £750 per student.