What are industry placements?

A simpler approach to vocational training

An industry placement is part of a T Level course - a qualification for 16-19-year olds that has been designed by employers.

T Level students spend:

  • 80% of the course in the classroom, learning the skills that employers need
  • 20% on a meaningful industry placement, where they put these skills into action

Industry placements are a shift from traditional work experience to a longer, more structured placement in the workplace for young people to develop real work skills and make a meaningful contribution to your organisation. Placements last at least 315 hours (approx. 45 days).

Find out more about how industry placements work

Video transcript
An industry placement is part of a T Level employer-led qualification for 16 to 19 year olds. T Level students spend 80 per cent of the course in the classroom and 20 per cent in an industry placement. Industry placements are not like work experience, they're structured and longer lasting - at least 315 hours. They let young people develop real work skills and make a meaningful contribution to your organization, developing a talent pipeline for the future. When you take on an industry placement student, you'll get support at every stage - from selecting the right student, to getting ready to host them, to managing and mentoring them. So let's have a look at a typical employer industry placement journey. Your first step will be deciding whether industry placements are right for your organization. You'll need to know what they are and how they work, you'll need to explore the costs and benefits, what's expected of you, and how you can check you're ready to get involved. The next stage is finding the right T Level provider to support your industry placement. A provider will work with you to design a placement model that will work for all parties - you, them and the student. Next is planning and designing the placement content with the provider, deciding what your student will do and how you'll manage them. You'll need to consider any industry-specific requirements that apply to your organization and check any relevant guidelines to make sure you provide a safe working environment for students in much the same way as you would do for any employee. The provider will also guide you through any policies you need to have in place or paperwork. Then it's time to select the right student for your placement. With your input, the provider can lead the process and can help you create a job description to identify and recruit suitable students, or the provider can select a suitable student for you. So it's time to prepare and to get ready to host the placement. You'll need to identify any equipment or information that the student will need, and who will be supervising the student, then you'll welcome your students with induction to the workplace that might include a briefing on your organisation, meeting key individuals, an overview of any policies and any other requirements you have. Again, it's pretty much like induction for any staff member, but you may need to adjust it for a younger person who's newer to the workplace. During the placement, it's important to provide mentoring and support to help students have a great experience as they transition from education to the workplace, and to help them make a meaningful contribution while they're with you. You'll be helping students develop employability skills for your industry, you'll be supporting students to apply their existing technical skills, and you'll be creating opportunities for them to develop new skills and specialist industry knowledge. During the placement. you'll be contributing to a student's formal review meetings, reviewing progress and identifying areas for improvement. Your feedback on performance will help keep students focused and motivated. At the end of the placement, you'll be able to give constructive feedback and assess how the placement has gone. Lastly, it'll be time to plan for the future. At the conclusion of the placement, you'll need to fill in a form confirming industry placement completion with the provider and the student. Your placement student could be a potential future employee - they'll have experience of your workplace and a qualification which will give them knowledge and skills for your industry. You could even talk to the provider about hiring the student after they finish their course, and about other learning possibilities like higher level apprenticeships. You can decide if you want to have a long-term partnership with the provider and take on other students. There are T Levels in a wide range of occupations which might be suitable for your organisation, so you might also want to explore what other placement opportunities you could offer. Ready to take on a student or want to find out more about T Levels and running your own industry placement? Go to employers.tlevels.uk


Why offer industry placements?

Industry placements give you:

  • fresh ideas and input from the next generation
  • a talent pipeline for the future
  • a way for you to fill skills gaps
  • a chance for staff to develop supervisory and mentoring skills
  • an opportunity to build a more diverse workforce
  • an enhanced reputation in your community

Over the next few years, T Levels will scale up to include 23 courses, covering 11 skill areas.

Find out more about industry placement skill areas

Industry placements are happening now

To prepare for T Levels, employers are partnering with local colleges and schools to trial industry placements. 

Industry placements give you a chance to work alongside the next generation of workers entering your industry, making sure they develop the knowledge, attitude and practical skills to succeed. 

More than 2000 employers are already working with local colleges and schools to offer industry placements.

If you're interested in offering an industry placement, contact us.



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