Matthew Metcalfe of CoveÌa Insurance is helping to create the framework for the UK's new T-levels. He explains to The Journal the opportunity for the insurance profession
T-levels will sit-levels will sit alongside traditional apprenticeships as part of a reformed skills training system. The intention is to create a new 'gold standard' for technical education, developed in partnership with businesses and education professionals, to ensure students gain core skills for employment in a specific industry.
There are currently 25 T-level employer panels made up of representatives from employers, education providers and industry experts. Each panel is responsible for developing the T-level outline content in their respective pathway. T-level panels exist across 11 routes, including: education and childcare; construction; digital; legal; and finance and accounting.
WHERE DO T-LEVELS SIT?
Currently, at age 16, people can either undertake A-levels, a vocational college course,
or an apprenticeship. The T-level is a new, classroom- based option equivalent to three A-levels, studied for two years that will include a work placement of up to 60 days. The intention is to raise vocational training standards, upskill young people and achieve 'parity of esteem' with A-levels.
As with A-levels, on completion of a T-level, students will be able to choose between moving into a skilled occupation, a higher- or degree- level apprenticeship, or higher-level technical study including higher education.
Employers including CoveÌa Insurance are involved in designing the T-level outline content, but wider employer consultation will be essential to ensure the new qualification delivers the skills needed to meet our profession's future requirements.
One aspect worth considering now for employers is the practicality of accommodating work placements for much larger student numbers. Although government funding is in place for the 2018/2019 academic year to ramp up capacity for work placements, with T-levels being phased in from 2020, companies need to start planning now for what's around the corner. The first T-levels off the block in September 2020 will be: digital; education and childcare; and construction.
IS THERE AN INSURANCE T-LEVEL?
There is no specific insurance T-level, but I am representing CoveÌa Insurance on the management and administration panel. I have also been asked to look at the legal, finance and accounting T-level, which could incorporate an insurance element. There are several other panels relevant to our industry, such as digital skills, human resources and accountancy.
WHAT ARE THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE INSURANCE SECTOR?
Getting involved in shaping T-levels is an opportunity for us to make sure we can recruit people with the core skills needed for a future career with us. It is also about ensuring we are recruiting from diverse backgrounds, which means opening up new routes into a insurance for young people who do not take the traditional academic route.
Also, collaboration with schools and colleges in the community to support delivery of the new T-levels creates the opportunity for us to increase public trust in insurance, by increasing understanding and awareness of what insurance contributes to society, as well as spreading the word about the extensive and diverse employment opportunities our industry offers.
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