Development of the government’s new ¹ T Level Technical Qualification in Hair, Beauty and Aesthetics is now underway with delivery to commence across England in 2023. The contract for this T Level was awarded to NCFE, and its specialist partner VTCT, by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute) in October 2021.
T Levels are high-quality, work-focused alternatives to A Levels for students aged 16-18. These new flagship Level 3 technical programmes span two years and will equip students with the skills, knowledge and behaviours they need to progress into skilled employment. One of the four key components that make up a T Level is the industry placement.
What is the T Level Industry Placement?
The duration of the industry placement is a minimum of 315 hours (with no upper limit of time). This will be during normal industry working hours, even if it is outside the academic timetable. This structure further promotes the real-life work environment for students.
Employers are encouraged to get involved with T Levels. “T Levels, developed in collaboration with industry, support aspiration and focus on preparing students for work while developing the technical skills and knowledge that are sought by industry,” said Lorraine Nordmann, president of the Association of Hairdressers and Therapists. “A robust work experience is central to the qualification," she added.
Nurturing the Next Generation
The placement takes place in a work environment, which allows them to experience what it is like to be in a real-life job. From working with colleagues and managing tasks, students will have the opportunity to learn everything from current trends to new techniques from seasoned professionals.
Prior to the placement, training providers must ensure students are suitably prepared to enter the workplace before they go on their industry placement. This includes having the required basic technical and employability skills while also understanding the importance of adhering to company policies and procedures. It will also equip students with an understanding of the professional standards of behaviour that are required.
What are the Benefits of the Industry Placement to Students and Employers?
The T Level is a full-time course and the industry placement is a mandatory part of the programme. Students already on a T Level recognise the valuable addition this work experience adds to their CV and employment prospects.
For employers, the industry placement is a valuable solution to addressing the entry-level skills shortage. The placements also helps to improve innovation and productivity, as students bring new ideas. Additionally, placements give an employer the opportunity to shape the next generation of workers entering the industry into the future talent they would want to hire.
How Can I Get Involved?
Even though industry placements won’t start for a couple of years for the Hair and Beauty sectors, you can still be involved now. VTCT is looking for experienced professionals to contribute their knowledge (e.g. through reviewing content) as part of our T Level development panels. Register your interest in getting involved - www.vtct.org.uk/tlevels.
Joan Scott, CEO and chair of HABIA, has been involved with the T Level development panels and shared her experience: “Our team at Habia are delighted to be providing expertise to support the development of the T Level in Hair, Beauty and Aesthetics. This is because we want to champion the next generation of professionals in our industries. It’s so important to nurture and develop skills and talent, as well as provide a quality progression route into the sector. These qualifications – with our help and support – will do just that. We invite others to share their expertise in support of the T Level development.”
VTCT is looking for experienced professionals to contribute their knowledge and experience as part of the industry panels. Register interest at www.vtct.org.uk/tlevels or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to take part.