Around 5,450 young people started on a T Level in the second year of the flagship rollout, new data shows.
The Department for Education has today published its annual T Level action plan for 2021.
The qualifications were rolled out for the first time in 2020 and expanded further this year. Ten T Level subjects are now being taught across four routes by 102 providers.
Provisional data submitted by the providers shows the construction route attracted 1,150 starts in 2021; digital had 1,200; education and childcare recruited 1,500; and the new health and science route enrolled 1,600.
Additionally, around 3,550 students started the T Level transition programme this year.
The Department for Education labels this as “early recruitment information” and “not official data”. It is being published “in the interests of transparency”.
It comes a week after an FE Week investigation found nine in ten T Level providers had missed their recruitment targets this year, with digital and health and science proving most difficult to meet their goals.
The DfE reiterated today that in the initial years of T Level rollout they have “explicitly focused on quality, rather than quantity”.
‘The sector has risen to the challenge’
In his foreword to today’s action plan, skills minister Alex Burghart said: “I am incredibly grateful for all the work that providers, employers, awarding organisations and other delivery partners have put into the first year of T Level delivery, and the preparation for the launch of year two.
“Despite the difficulties brought about by Covid-19, the sector has risen to the challenge and worked tirelessly to make these qualifications a reality.”
Ministers have watered down T Level policy in recent months. They have ruled that a chunk of the mandatory industry placement can be carried out remotely for the first two waves, offered employers £1,000 cash incentives to take on students, and removed the English and maths exit requirement for the qualifications.
Burghart said today: “We have continued to listen carefully to feedback. As we progress with the rollout of T Levels, we will continue to work closely with our partners across the education sector and industry to support their successful delivery.”
There were 43 providers delivering T Levels in year one of the rollout, where 1,300 students enrolled on a T Level and 950 students enrolled on the transition programme.
The DfE said it will publish official provider data returns via the individualised learner record in the future.