T Levels at Harrogate College

T Levels are post-GCSE qualifications combining classroom learning with industry placements. Look towards the future of your business by supporting students to learn within your industry.

Our T Level industries

What are T Levels?

T Levels give you another way to supplement your workforce. Launched in September 2020, they offer 16 to 19-year-olds an alternative to A levels and the chance to acquire real-life vocational experience through industry placements.

Students study one T Level, specialising in their subject and spending 80% of their time in the classroom – gaining the knowledge that will help them in their future career. The remaining 20% is spent on an industry placement, embedding that knowledge and developing real-world skills that will benefit them (and you).

As an employer, you’ll gain an enthusiastic employee you can train in specific areas to benefit your industry. Not only will you have an ‘extra pair of hands’, you’ll also be shaping the future of the younger generation.

Student wearing a cap backwards, standing in the carpentry workshop pointing the paperwork and explaining to another student in white T shirt

Benefits of a T Level

By offering a T Level placement to one of our students, your organisation will:
  • Enhance productivity and benefit from new ideas and fresh thinking
  • Increase your profile as a diverse and influential employer, and one who invests in learning and development
  • Train individuals in skills, aptitudes and behaviours for hard-to-fill vacancies
  • Access the best new talent and invest in the younger generation, your future workforce
  • Future proof your recruitment processes by considering progression opportunities: for example, progress T Level students to apprenticeships or entry-level jobs
  • Increase staff mentoring opportunities and upskill your next generation of managers
  • Develop strong links and relationships with local community organisations
  • See your potential apprentices in action, gaining more insight than can be garnered during a traditional interview process

How does an industry placement work?

Each placement is designed to last a minimum of 315 working hours to ensure students receive the experience and training they need. It’s up to you how you split this placement, depending on the needs of your business and what will best help the student to embed their knowledge.

The placement could be one day a week across 45 weeks, or you could take the student on for one placement of 45 days/9 weeks, or it could be a mix of both. Our team will be able to advise you on how to decide this.

During the placement, you will support the student to work on real-life projects within your workplace. You can consider:

  • What skills are needed in your industry?
  • What do you wish young employees knew (or which skills do you wish they had) when they start work with you?
  • How would fresh, innovative thinking benefit your business?
Harrogate College science student wearing lab coat standing smiling in the laboratory

Your student recruitment journey

  • Express your interest
    Contact Adeniyi Adesanya to speak to our T Level team.
  • Select a student
    We’ll help you find the right student for your industry and business needs. We can also help you interview suitable candidates.
  • Get your workplace placement ready
    We can guide you through paperwork, and any policies or procedures you may need in place. Students will need the same site-specific induction or health and safety induction as other new employees so you’re likely to have this information ready.
  • Set a start date
    We’ll ensure the placement fits around the student’s studies.
  • Agree on working objectives
    Decide what your student will do and how you’ll manage them.
  • Decide if you want to pay your student
    There’s no legal obligation to pay for T Level industry placements. In some circumstances, employers can choose to pay the National Minimum Wage for their student’s time. Alternatively, you can choose to support the student by paying their travel costs.
  • Start your industry placement
    Begin the induction process, introduce your student to their responsibilities, and monitor their progress.

Frequently asked questions

  • Can I hire my T Level trainee?

    Absolutely! Many of our students have been offered paid work as a result of their placement. A student can become a permanent part of your workforce once they have gained their T Level qualification.

  • Do I have to pay?

    There’s no legal obligation to pay for T Level industry placements. In some circumstances, employers can choose to pay the National Minimum Wage for their student’s time. Alternatively, you can choose to support the student by paying their travel costs or expenses.

  • Should T Level students only work in one area?

    It’s useful if students can get a broad overview of your business – not only will it help you if you choose to employ them in the future, it will also help the student identify areas that they’d like to specialise in throughout their career. Having a thorough understanding of different departments will help students see how the business as a whole functions.

  • What should students be doing on their placement? How should I decide their responsibilities?

    It’s up to you – where do you think you’d benefit from an extra pair of hands? Are there any areas that would benefit from fresh and innovative thinking? And what would you like to teach the next generation in your industry? If you’d like more support and guidance, we can work with you to design a job description and assess what would benefit the student.

    Consider the skills gaps that currently exist in your industry and what you’d like to see more of in your job applicants – bear in mind that you may not hire this student directly after their studies, but they may strengthen your recruitment pool in the long term.

  • Can placements be split across more than one employer? Can a student choose more than one placement?

    Students can divide their industry placement hours between a maximum of two employers, ensuring a wide range of experience.

  • Can I take on more than one student?

    The number of students you take on is completely up to you – some large employers have the capacity to take on 15-20 students each year, whereas smaller businesses might only take on one or two.

  • Some of my team work remotely. Can students undertake a remote work placement?

    This is only relevant in some sectors, and the time a student can work remotely is limited. But for Digital & IT and Management & Administration courses, 20% of a student’s placement time can be used on remote work, as long as they are still benefiting from the learning and support they would otherwise receive.

Next steps after the placement

Don’t forget to tell us how it went. We encourage all employers to provide student feedback after their placement has ended and we will initiate these conversations with both you and your student. You can even supply your placement student with a reference to enhance their employment prospects.

Other traineeship options

If a T Level doesn’t sound like the right fit for your business, why not take a look at our apprenticeship information? We can supply apprentices to cover all industry sectors.

If you’re keen to be more involved in education and to support learners in your local community, you’re invited to join our Employer Network.

Tutor standing talking with two students who sitting down in library with files and notes on the table