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‘T-levels’ skills boost for Staffordshire

Staffordshire students stand to benefit from millions of pounds invested in skills training for teenagers.

Ben Adams, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for Learning and Skills, said that Chancellor Philip Hammond’s announcement of an additional £500 million for ‘T-levels’ in the next few years will boost existing plans to train thousands of youngsters in skills needed for the county’s hi-tech businesses.

He said:

Following a great deal of work by the county council, £37 million is already earmarked for Staffordshire in the next few years shaping the skills system so employers can find the right staff on their doorstep.

‘T-levels’ can provide a rigorous foundation, equal to A-levels, for people who are following a route into technology, engineering and manufacturing courses – whether they’re going to study at university or to take a skilled technician’s job after college.

The academic route is perfect for some students, but we must ensure parents and students are as familiar with the progression for technical qualifications as they are with the A-level system so they can make an informed choice about what’s best for them.”

Under the plans thousands of current qualifications will be replaced by 15 ‘T-level’ training routes specific to different industries, including business skills, construction, digital skills and design, as well as engineering and manufacturing.

The Apprenticeships Levy, to be introduced in spring, makes companies responsible for investing in their own skills and staff.

Ben Adams said:

Raising skills levels will benefit firms by making them more productive and benefit workers by enabling them to find better paid jobs.

Not only has the county council looked at current and future skills shortages, but we’re encouraging businesses to work more closely with post-16 colleges so they understand where future demand for skills will lie.

That way, businesses will be able to invest in Staffordshire knowing there is a supply of skilled staff on hand, while students will leave college either ready to work, or to go on to study at a higher level.”