T - Levels: a perspective

3rd Aug 2017

New technical qualifications called T-levels are promising to simplify the process of vocational training in England, address the perception that these types of qualifications are not an equal footing with academic ones and ensure that employers are have work-ready entrants into the workforce.

The plans will see 16 to 19-year-olds able to study in 15 vocational subject areas like hair and beauty, marketing and procurement or construction. The courses will replace thousands that are currently on offer and it's claimed they will make access to the job market easier. Crucially for the economy the reform is underpinned by a political recognition that we need more people entering the workforce that are “work-fit”.

The Institute of Customer Service welcomes this reform but we are very clear that part of this work-readiness must include the people and personal skills that employers require as well as specific technical capacity. Indeed, the 2015 Employer Skills Survey showed a growing number of job vacancies being left unfilled because companies cannot find people with the necessary customer service skills – the second greatest deficiency identified by employers (39%).

It is our belief that the reform of technical education has a critical role to play in tackling this and the Institute will contribute our experience and that of our members to this end as the subjects and the curriculum are bottomed out.

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