This week (15 September) Christian Wakeford MP (@Christian4BuryS), the Member of Parliament for Bury South and member of the Education Committee was unanimously elected Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on T Levels.
The APPG on T Levels aims to:
- Increase cross-party Parliamentarian awareness and understanding of T Levels;
- Spread awareness and understanding of T Levels more broadly; and
- Provide a forum for discussion of the public policy issues around T Levels, involving employers, young people, the education sector and Parliamentarians.
Christian Wakeford MP’s election as Chair follows the appointment of the former APPG Chair and former Education Secretary, The Rt. Hon. Damian Hinds MP, as Minister of State for Security.
Yesterday’s meeting of the APPG on T Levels marked not only the first anniversary of T Levels, but also their expansion to a whole new range of topics including building services engineering for construction, digital business services, digital support services, health, healthcare science, onsite construction, and science, widening career opportunities for more young people.
Christian Wakeford MP takes up the post of Chair on the eve of the inaugural ‘T Level Week’ (20-27th September), which is being launched by the APPG to raise greater awareness of T Levels.
Speakers at the event included Gillian Keegan MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills); Jenifer Burden MBE, Director of Programmes, Gatsby Charitable Foundation; David Russell, Chief Executive, The Education and Training Foundation; Colin Wood MBE, Chief Executive (Europe), Aecom; and T Levels students from Cirencester College and Blackpool and the Fylde College.
On his appointment as Chair, Christian Wakeford MP, said:
“I am delighted to have been elected chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on T Levels. T Levels are an exciting new development in further education and represent a new chapter in the delivery of post-16 education for vocational skills. I look forward to championing these new qualifications both in Parliament and beyond.
I would like to thank my predecessor, The Rt. Hon. Damian Hinds MP for establishing this group. As we launch T Level Week, this is a timely opportunity to raise greater awareness of these excellent qualifications and place technical and academic qualifications on an equal footing once and for all”.
At the meeting, speakers spoke powerfully about the importance of T Levels.
Jenifer Burden MBE, Director of Programmes, Gatsby Charitable Foundation said:
“High quality technical education is a gateway to a rich range of rewarding careers that benefit not just the individual, but the nation as a whole; from young people starting their career, adults upskilling or retraining, to employers developing their workforce. Alongside apprenticeships and Higher Technical Qualifications, T Levels are a key plank of ongoing efforts to transform our technical system into world-class provision, building on the very best practice both here and internationally. We are delighted to be celebrating the first year of these important new qualifications, the achievement of students, and of their providers.”
David Russell, Chief Executive, The Education and Training Foundation stated:
“We are delighted to celebrate the first birthday of T Levels, which offer learners a new opportunity to realise their potential and address skills gaps in the workforce. Given the expansion of these nationally important technical qualifications, we are supporting further education teachers and leaders through our professional development courses that provide them with the skills, subject knowledge and confidence to teach T Levels.”
Colin Wood MBE, Chief Executive (Europe), Aecom said
“Attracting talent through a variety of different routes is key to building capacity in the built environment and other technical sectors. T Levels bring new educational opportunities that will help equip the next generation with the technical skills that our sectors’ need. As a leading employer in engineering and other technical disciplines, we bring industry perspective to discussions around this new qualification. Government, industry and academia must continue to work together to help ensure T Levels build a future pipeline of talent that will be key to closing the UK’s STEM skills gap.”