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Make UK and EngineeringUK estimate that the engineering and manufacturing T Level route will require as many as 43,500 placements to be provided by employers in the sector by 2024/25. Yet currently, only one in ten (9%) of engineering and manufacturing employers surveyed for the report hosts a T level placement and just 12% plan to in the coming year.

Several factors are holding back engineering and manufacturing employers from engaging with T levels and offering industry placements, including a lack of employer understanding of T levels and of information and support on offer. That said, employers remain of the view that T Levels have the potential to provide the solution to solving their vocational pipeline issues, with 55% open to taking on an industry placement in the future.

More than ever, the manufacturing industry is crying out for skilled technicians, data scientists and technical operators. The pipeline from the EU has been severely curtailed since the UK left the European Union, so we need to turbocharge the best quality training in these skills from homegrown talent.

For too long apprenticeships and vocational careers in our great industries have been considered second best. The creation of T levels as a qualification of choice will go some way in delivering the very best in life opportunities is critical to changing perceptions and delivering the skills Britain so badly needs
Bhavana Bharkhada Head of Policy & Campaigns, Make UK
T levels are designed to provide young people with a clear pathway into engineering and manufacturing careers, but their success hinges on young people being able to access industry placements as part of their qualification. As it stands, it will be a real challenge to secure the 43,500 placements needed.

We are therefore urging government to focus on supporting businesses and education providers through offering financial incentives as well as creating the right conditions and frameworks. Doing so will enable them to collaborate efficiently and open up their businesses for young people to learn new skills and develop into the workforce of the future that we so desperately need.
Beatrice Barleon Head of Policy & Public Affairs, Engineering UK

Available resources

Industry report / Make UK