DfE announces new £12m T Level employer placement fund
A new funding effort is aimed at boosting employer engagement in T Level placement opportunities, despite the previous underinvestment in similar initiatives.
The Department for Education has announced a £12 million fund to incentivise employers to participate in T Level placements for the 2023/24 financial year. The fund will be used to cover costs such as set-up expenses, equipment, and staff training. In addition, providers delivering T Levels during the 2023/24 academic year will receive a one-time grant of up to £10,000 for student career guidance. The funding will be paid through T Level providers and will be allocated based on student numbers. Providers will be responsible for validating claims from employers, making payments, and reporting claims via an online tool provided by the Department for Education. The guidance for the fund will be published in March 2023.
Previous employer support funds, such as the £7 million scheme offered from 2019-2022, have seen low utilisation, with only 8% of the funds being used to support 843 placements against a target of 32,466. Research has shown that 75% of employers have not heard of T Levels and only 7% would change their stance if offered an incentive. The Skills Minister has stated that this new funding support will provide a boost to training providers and businesses, and will help set students on a path to success, regardless of their future plans for higher education, apprenticeships, or employment. The announcement follows a 10% uplift in funding for T Levels for the 2023/24 academic year. The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education and the Association of Colleges have welcomed the funding announcement and hope to see increased engagement from businesses to meet their own skill needs. However, concerns remain that the funding may not address the needs of students who have lower starting points.