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What businesses need to know about Extended Work Placement policy and introduction of new T Level qualifications

Extended Work Placements are currently being piloted across UK Further Education colleges in preparation for the launch of T Levels in 2020. Barnsley College is one to the colleges to pilot T Levels from 2020.

What are T Levels?

T (Technical) Levels are vocational qualifications equivalent to A Levels. In 2020, T Levels are being launched initially with three main pathways:

  1. Construction,
  2. Software and Digital,
  3. Teaching/Education.

More subjects will then be rolled-out from 2023.

What has this got to do with Extended Work Placements?

Students taking T Levels will be required to complete 46-50 days of an Extended Work Placement (EWP) relevant to their course. This will be completed over a few days a week, rather than all in one go. EWPs will have a similar set-up to an apprenticeship, but students are not paid for their time.

Why Extended Work Placements?

Work experience brings many benefits to students and employers alike.

Students will gain:

  • A head start – it provides them with skills to get them ahead in the working world and experience of being in a workplace environment.
  • An advantage when it comes to finding their first role in their chosen industry – it looks good on their CV and shows potential employers they have passion and motivation.
  • The knowledge to make decisions about their career.

Businesses will gain:

  • Extra help around the workplace from an eager individual.
  • Management or supervisory experience opportunities for your existing staff.
  • A low-cost recruitment channel.
  • Enhancement of the reputation of your company.

How are Extended Work Placements different from traditional work experience?

Traditionally, work experience consists of a much shorter time period and there are less universal structures in place to enable students and employers to get the most from the time. On the other hand, EWPs have several distinct advantages:

  • Students taking part will be committed to pursuing a career in your industry. They are already studying and gaining skills and knowledge that will make them a real asset to your workplace.
  • You will have a chance to shape the future leaders of your industry and in turn could benefit from a younger, fresher perspective for your business and the industry as a whole.
  • The longer nature of the programme means students can take on meaningful work and longer projects. Less supervision will be needed as they grow in confidence.
  • EWPs are a lot more structured and regulated. Employers, colleges and students will all know their responsibilities and be able to provide mutual support and feedback.

How can you get involved?

If you’re interested in finding out more, please register your interest here. Please specify that you are interested in providing an EWP, rather than normal work experience