‘T-levels’ could help industry plug skills gap
The construction industry is set for a boost in tomorrow’s Budget with chancellor Philip Hammond set to unveil an extra £500m a year on technical and vocational training in an effort to create a new generation of electricians, plumbers and builders.
The Sunday Telegraph has reported that Hammond will pump the money into “T-level” courses – technical training for students to benefit sectors including construction and engineering – in an attempt to replace European migrants in the post-Brexit age.
The move is designed to put technical education on an equal footing with academic studies. The T-level courses will be aimed at students aged 16 to 19.
The current system, where students pick from 13,000 different qualifications, will be replaced with just 15 standalone courses.
Teenagers who undertake the technical training, such as courses to become an engineer or builder, will spend 50% longer learning than they do now, equaling 900 hours of teaching a year.
Hammond also criticised those calling for greater borrowing to fund infrastructure.
He said: “While we are making steady progress in eliminating the deficit, there are still some voices calling for massive borrowing to fund huge spending sprees.
“That approach is not only confused, it’s reckless, unsustainable and unfair on our young people, who would be left to deal with the consequences.”