The construction course will focus on design, surveying and planning, with modules covering topics including health and safety law, environmental performance, the “internet of things” and team management. The “digital” course will cover production, design and development, including topics such as internet security, data management, and the ethical issues raised by an increasing reliance on technology. On the education and childcare course students will learn about child development, diversity legislation, child language acquisition, and how to work with parents. The courses were initially supposed to be launched by 2019 but last summer skills minister Anne Milton announced that the timetable had been delayed by a year.Commenting on the announcement, the Prime Minister said: “Everyone should be able to have access to an education that suits them, but we know that for those that don’t choose to go to university, the routes into further technical and vocational training can be hard to navigate. “That’s why we’re making the most significant reform to advanced technical education in 70 years to ensure young people have gold standard qualifications open to them whichever route they choose. “T-levels provide a high-quality, technical alternative to A-levels ensuring thousands of people across the country have the skills we need to compete globally – a vital part of our modern industrial strategy.” Schools are to let students study technical qualifications instead of A levels in one of the biggest overhauls of the education system in decades. Reforms announced by the Government will allow students at 52 colleges in England to study construction, digital skills and childcare from September 2020. Another 22 courses, covering sectors including finance and accounting, engineering and manufacturing, and creative and design, will be launched in stages from 2021. The timetable means students beginning their GCSEs this September will be the first to be able to choose between traditional academic A levels and the new qualifications. Responding to a consultation about the plans, which was launched last November, Education Secretary Damian Hinds said the courses would be developed alongside businesses and the department would also examine similar programmes in other countries. “For too long young people have not had a genuine choice about their future aged 16. Whilst A levels provide a world class academic qualification, many technical education courses are undervalued by employers and don’t always provide students with the skills they need to secure a good job – that has to change,” he said. “Naming the first 52 colleges and providers where young people will be able to study the first T levels is an important step forward, and we will continue the work with business and the education sector so everyone can benefit from these vital reforms.”The locations are spread across the country and include further education colleges, schools, community colleges and training centres. The West Midlands is the region with the highest number of centres, with ten providers including University College Birmingham, City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College and Bordesley Green Girls’ School & Sixth Form signed up to the scheme. In Yorkshire and the Humber schools including Barnsley College, York College and Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College are set to provide the qualification.Six schools and colleges in London are signed up, as well as four in the north east of England, five in the north west and nine in the south east. The east of the country has the fewest providers, with just one centre, Derby College in the East Midlands, and three in the East of England. The courses will include three month industry placements and a curriculum designed by employers.Earlier this week the Institute for Apprenticeships announced the draft content for the first three qualifications, and asked for feedback from further education providers by June 4. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
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