Exclusive: T levels should be delayed, says CBI

The new technical qualifications should not be rolled out until September 2023, according to business leaders

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The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is calling on the government to delay the implementation of the new T levels by a year and “take the time to get this right”.

In its response to the government‘s consultation on the implementation of the new technical qualifications, which closed last week, the CBI says: “The drive to implement T levels is positive, but government must not underestimate the scale and complexity of these reforms."

It adds: “The timescales for implementation are challenging for providers; a slower roll-out of T level routes is the right goal."

The CBI has spoken out amid growing concern over the new technical qualifications, which are supposed to be on a par with A levels. Last week, Tes revealed how universities were divided over whether they would recognise the new qualifications, with some having already rejected them out of hand whilst others were waiting for more detail on the new T levels.

T levels 'behind schedule'

The introduction of T levels has already fallen behind schedule. The first T levels – in digital, construction and education and childcare – are expected to start in 2020, with T levels in legal; finance and accounting; engineering and manufacturing; and health and science due to begin in 2021. The third tranche of T levels – in hair and beauty; agriculture, environment and animal care; business and administrative; catering and hospitality; and creative and design - is due to start in 2022.

However, more time is needed, according to the CBI. Its response to the consultation states: “Taking the time to get T-level routes and the surrounding system right makes September 2023, not 2022, the right goal for the full roll-out. An additional year would allow the programmes to be implemented – as rigorously as they should be – so that they can best succeed."

In the face of already tight timescales, “the government should take the time to get this right”, according to the CBI.

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