T Levels and apprenticeships

An apprenticeship is a real job with training which allows an individual to earn while they learn.

There will be 15 routes available and 70 pathways to follow offering young people a line of sight to a technical/higher technical occupations with clear progression options.

Four of the routes will be predominantly delivered through apprenticeships. This doesn’t mean that these are the only four.

Young people can already train as an apprentice which is a real paid job expected to last a minimum of twelve months.

It gives young people the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed to be competent in their chosen job and 80% is learned in the workplace. 

Reforms to technical education mean that in the future young people will have two options available to them; an academic study programme and a provider-based technical education route or technical study programme.

T levels will start to become available from 2020 with full roll out expected in 2022 - so this would be your current Year 8.

Visit The Apprenticeship Hub to discover what an apprenticeship could mean for you. You’ll find specific information tailored for young people, parents, schools, and employers, along with guidance on applications in Greater Manchester.

Learn More


In addition to the two options described above, traineeships are Study Programmes that include employability skills and a work placement alongside English and maths, and lasts for a minimum of 6 weeks and a maximum of 6 months. Traineeships are for students who want to progress to an apprenticeship, or to other employment, usually in an occupation where learning is ‘on the job’ rather than requiring qualifications.

Current facts about Technical Study Programmes

T levels will be level 3 technical Study Programmes, based on employer-designed standards and content, which will prepare students for highly skilled jobs and enable them to adapt to meet the skills needs of the future. 

  • Successful completion of a T level will provide students with the knowledge, skills and behaviours necessary to start skilled employment in an occupation related to their field of study.  

  • Students achieving T levels will also be able to progress to the highest levels of skilled employment or technical education and training at levels 4, 5 and 6. Progression options will include higher and degree level apprenticeships or higher technical education, including technical degrees.

  • Apprenticeships and T levels will be based on the same set of standards designed by employers and others. Apprentices will train for a single occupation while T level students will undertake a broader programme, gaining skills and knowledge relevant to a range of occupations in a route.

  • All T level programmes must include a substantial work placement of at least 45 days with an employer, away from the individuals’ learning environment.

To view the latest policies please take a look at our policy page.