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2020 and 2021 T Level Providers Industry Placement Employer Incentive data tracking tool

This webinar offers guidance on using the Industry Placement employer incentive tracking tool.  The webinar was delivered on 15 July 2021.

Video transcript

Hello everybody and thank you for joining us today um so my name is Simon Peek.

I am from the Industry Placements Policy Team um and we're here today to talk to you a little bit more about the incentive fund and just before we get into the the detail um you'll see on the thing um the usual kind of practice around these so if i could ask you to put yourself on mute. If you want to raise the point um during the meeting then please use the chat function to write your question. I'm joined by some um colleagues that have worked with with me on developing this policy so between us we will look to answer all the questions that you have um and um other than that um I think we're good to go. So if I could have the next like oh yes I also need to tell you that we are recording this um so that people can um go back and view it again um so hopefully everyone is okay with this being recorded. So just run you through what we're going to talk about today so I'm just going to do a very brief kind of review of what the purpose of the fund is and remind everyone of the eligibility criteria and the payment process and then we will spend most of the time on this webinar looking at the online tool that is used that we will be using to collect the data around the payments. 

So if I could have the next slide Vicci so let's just remind ourselves about the purpose of the fund we all know that employers willingness to offer placement opportunities is paramount to the success of the programme and we will obviously know that COVID has had a huge impact on everyone's ability to be able to offer and secure placements and we know that some placements have been delayed so the incentive fund is designed to be a short-term response at recognizing those potential financial constraints that employers might have in this post covet 19 recovery period. We also hope that this fund will add value by encouraging new employers to come forward and to offer placement opportunities both now and in the longer term we want to be able to support the employer to offer those quality placements in the long term and we hope that they will use this money to be able to put in place the infrastructure they need to be able to do that and we also hope that this will enable the providers to build strong long-term relationships with their local labour market so using this incentive to build those relationships that we know we need to achieve to it to um to get to steady state for t levels. 

Okay next slide please I'm just reminding everyone of the eligibility so this fund is available for t-level providers delivering t-levels that started in September 2020 and September 2021 only. As I said it's a short-term fund in response to COVID19. It's a thousand pounds per employer who hosts an industry placement there is a cap of 20 payments per employer in any single region of the country um employers must host industry placements and not just work taster hours. If there's more than one employer that's hosting the placement as the part of the two employer model then both employers are eligible for the thousand pounds however if it's using the supply chain or network model that is used in the construction placements then it's only the lead employer that is eligible for the payments and it would be down to that lead employer to decide how they distribute the money. There are no limitations on how the employer can spend the funds um but as I said we hope that it will be used to put in place the infrastructure they need to be able to offer t-level placements in the longer term. 

Next slide so um payments can't be backdated so they can't be paid for placements that started before the 27th of May when we announced the fund and we must have a start date agreed before any payment is made and obviously placements must adhere to the same quality standards that we would expect for any placement that are set out in the delivery guidance. As I said a cap of 20 per employer and employers should not receive ESF and incentive payments for the same placement that's obviously only relevant to those uh people that are part of the ESF pilots um and that's obviously only for this academic year because that pilot comes to an end quite soon. Any employer is eligible to claim an incentive payment with the exception of government departments and arms length bodies. But that doesn't include the public sector who would uh the wider public sector who would be eligible for a payment so local authorities um NHS trusts etc.

Next slide thank you, so if you have completed and returned the Annex A that we sent to you and you've signed your contract variation you will receive an allocation automatically the employer must complete and sign a declaration form as their claim for the incentive payment and as the provider you will be required to validate the placement opportunity. In the same way that you would with any opportunity that you're looking to offer make the payment to the employer from the funds that we will have passed to you and submit the data on the online tool that we're going to demonstrate today ideally within 15 working days of making a payment. You will also need to upload the employer declaration onto the online tool at the same time that you submit the payment data at the end of the 21-22 academic year. Any unspent funds that we have allocated to you will be claimed back by the ESFA and the purpose of the online tool is to be able to track the payments and for the DfE to assess the types of employers that have been claiming the incentive fund. Okay next slide, so I'm going to just I'm going to hand you over to my colleague, Sundy who's just going to talk you through the timeline that you can see on screen and then we will get into the demonstration of the tool itself.

Hi yeah so um it's all fairly self-explanatory, but i will just quickly run through it uh first things first we are hoping to launch the online tool uh this is next week and this will be accompanied by step-by-step guidance on how to use it and we will also make this recording of this webinar available to providers. um academies will have already received their allocation earlier this month, I think it was either the first or second working day of the month and all other providers will receive their funds um in the July payment which I'm told is tomorrow, so look out for that. Um for wave two your allocations will be based on your student enrolment figures and we will notify you of your allocations in October to be paid in the November pay run we will be asking providers to submit data for all the incentive payments paid out to employers onto the online tool that Sam will demo in a second um and we'll be asking you to do this by the dates that we've set out here. Um to report on the previous six weeks and the first deadline uh is on the 17th of September and then every six weeks thereafter um this can be done on an ad hoc basis um i.e. as in when payments are made if that is preferred um the 31st of July is the very last date, the very last start date um for placements to be eligible for payment and on the the 12th of August is the final date providers must submit the data for all incentive payments paid out to employers onto the incentive tool. After which we will be claiming back um any unspent funds as um Simon has already mentioned and this will be up based on the data and that you have submitted, so please make sure that this is accurate and up to date by the 12th of August 2022. um okay I hope that was clear um I'm now going to hand you over to Sam Brennan um and he has been working in the System Development Team and is preparing this tool for launch next week over to you Sam.

Hi everybody uh let me just share my screen and show you the demo. Before I start chatting and to find out that nobody can uh see the screen. Is the screen visible please, yes brilliant thank you very much for the confirmation um. So essentially uh this form here is built in out one of our our development platforms and it will use the um the DfE sign-in as the authentication authentication method, so I'm just signing in as as myself here um oh great um. Let's just go back refresh the browser and start again so I'm logging in as, well I've got a plethora of of different accounts on here due to me not me not having an allegiance to a uh educational setting, but um for for you guys it will just be for your um educational setting.

So for the um demonstratory purpose I'll be using um New College Durham, um if I have any if anybody's from New College Durham hello there um. So the first page that you will um you'll you'll get to is the sort of the first information page which just provides a bit of an overview of what the the form will be used for and what you can do on the form with links to guidance and also um a link to the employees employer incentive teams mailbox, if you do have any queries upon completing uh the form. 

So then what would what next would happen is the um what we call the your details pages where they um the details of the educational setting and the person completing the form as highlighted there will get played back to the user just just for sort of confirmation purposes um and then we continue on the first question uh that they that you'll receive is um whether they've made whether you've made an incentive payment to employ between the respective dates um and and this is essentially just to to to whittle out any potential for where any providers haven't um made any made a incentive payment because um essentially an incentive payment has to be made before um this can be completed. 

So if a user was to select no then the the the associated red error message will will arise informing uh of what needs to be done um so say for example that incentive payment has been made um so then the next page is the um the employer details page so what what this is it's where they would input the the um the the employer information uh where the incentive payment has been made to um and the key part about this is where the the location where the learner will be completing most of their uh payments hours uh plate not payment hours placement hours sorry um so just just for demonstratory purposes I'll put a uh a um employer in here um there is a plethora of validation rules um on on this form to to aim to increase data integrity and accuracy so say for example to use we was we was to fill this in and leave the the boxes blank accidentally uh it wouldn't it won't allow you to continue until um the boxes have been completed as they have a mandatory sort of um mandatory tag applied to them um. Another slice of validation is applied to the um to this form is with regards to the postcode um. 

So if i was to input a postcode such as um something like that um due to it not being a recognized postcode and in in the required format that will error too. If I try to continue there we go um again if I was to put a unknown character an a not recognizable character in there such as the ampers and error but if the uh a correct correctly formatted post code in this will subsequently go through uh. As as I kind of alluded to is just to um increase data accuracy um for for the reporting purpose that will be that will be carried out on the back of this um from from another internal team within the department um. 

So the next the next page after the user was to uh after you you guys were to um complete the employee details page just to go down a bit further I forgot to cover this so essentially the below the employee postcode there's um sections for the region the size and then two of further questions so um both of the um the region and the size of the employer questions or sections are just single selection check boxes um so yeah you can only select one of the regions and then again one of the um one of the sizes which are reflective of the of the employer and then the two question the two questions at the end are essentially just to gather a bit more information around the um about around the uh fund whether the incentive payment influenced the overall decision and whether whether you guys or whether the employer will be um sort of willing to be contacted so we can provide feedback and and ways so we can better the process for future years. 

Um and then the next page is um what is where the way you would add the add the associated learner to the employer that was highlighted on the page previously so for the study engineering in the in the example and as um as Simon um covered at the start um that only be allowed to add up to 20 um learners um and on the form there's um applied validation rules to say if the um if if 20 learners are added on us and a 21st goes to be added it will not be it won't be able to happen. The button will be removed um to prevent any um incorrect editions of over 20 um learners so essentially this add learner button as the 20th learner is added it will be removed to prevent any preventive adding any further learners so um to provide an example of adding a uh adding a learner I won't add 20 to show that validation more because I'll be here all day but um that that's what will happen if the 20 uh once the 20th is added.

So once the the user clicks the add learner button there will be the learner details page that that arises um so what what this is um is just to input input around the the details of the learner um completing the placement with the um associated employer so the first bit is around the um the first input box is the uh unique learner number of the um the learner that is completing the um the placement so what what we have here the validation that's applied is that it has to be a 10 digit um integer as as all ULN's should be that anyway um. So if i was to add a ULN that has um 13 I think that's 13 12 13 digits um once I try to click continue it will not let me through but I'll show that in a second so the next bit is around the um the T Level that the the T Level that the learner is studying again like the previous page or like the employee details page sorry um it's a single selection checklist a check uh list and to um yeah for to select the um associated T Level then the the a bit where uh the next question is around the uh the start date of the t level um what's up again kind of what Simon mentioned earlier around they can either start 2020 September or 2021 um. 

So say for example the learners started in September 2020 um there's some associated validation rules again applied to the next box um around when they started their industry placement and so say say for example the user selects the September 2020 as their option of when they started their T Level. There's validation rules applied to this date range here that um as if they started in September 2020 they can only um input a date of the industry start an industry placement start date between the 27th of May 2021 and the 31st of July 2022. 

So say for example I tried to input a date of 25th of May 2021 it will flow it'll throw wobbly saying that you must input a date between the 27th of May 2021 and the 31st of July 2022 and again as referenced earlier um the unique learner number is erroring due to it not being 10 uh 10 a 10 digit integer really and again for for ease of use on on the form um when you guys will be completing this is if there is multiple errors on a page um you can just click the associated error first and it will take you down to where it arises and to sort of speed up error resolution um if if there is errors on the page um but I'm sure that um the the bit here around the the date ranges will be covered in associated Comms and guidance they're sent out um and again just to demonstrate your purposes I'll show you that for the if the user wants to select September 2021 as the um start date then they can only uh there's the date range is only available to be inputted from the first of September 2021 until the 31st of July 2022 so if I put the 31st of the is that 31 days in August potentially um yes so that again will error as per this error message it must be between the 1st of September so if i put 0209 2021 and resolve the above error it will add. 

So what this has done has added um the learner one two three four five six seven eight nine one to uh well forced on the engineering as um previously uh inputted on the employer details page um for one thing. A couple of things sent out on this page if um if you realize that something's uh say for example the ULN is incorrect or another slice information that was inputted for this learner was um what needs to be changed you can just click onto the um onto the ULN number that is there and you can just easily go back and change any information that was inputted for this this learner so say for example the T Level was different so we can just change it there and their start date is the 29th of the 6th 2022. It'll all be replicated and changed again um I'll add another learner just to demonstrate repurpose and show the delete function um and then as i referenced earlier there's the say for example learned it is no longer relevant or something something along those lines that the learner can just be deleted off this um of this uh page here by just doing that and it goes um. Before I move on to any other pages there's a couple more to go any questions on the the sort of the two key pages or three key pages on the form that I've gone through so far I've not access to the chat so if there's any questions in the chat can send out Simon let me know.

Sam, there's a couple of questions I think we could ask um that just come through. So one the first one is how many staff per institution will have access to the data tracking tool uh

As as many as as is required really as long as you have a dfe signing account you can um access this form and uh if we go back to the um the start um prior to this page there's the page where um a link to the DfE sign in um if I go back it will kick me out but um there's a link to the DfE signing um guidance and how to access and create an account so um like I say is as many as you okay thank you.

And the other one is a comment that says it would be helpful if it showed the student's name to check we have the correct ULN.

Yeah I mean we did consider this but due to GDPR and data protection we would refrain from capturing that level of information um because it would have to go through a whole whole load of security sign off and all that and it probably wouldn't be allowed um because I know this was what we did discuss um um when we were doing the initial requirements gathering but it was sort of um not something that we could actually capture due to the sensitivity of the data okay thank you.

And there's another one that's literally just come in that says is there a plan to have a bulk input of learners um e.g. add data using a csv file.

Um not not currently um but if if we think that that might be something that um might be of assistance then we can we can chat to Sunday and Becky and yourself Simon and see if we can factor that into a you know into a later iteration of the form. But it's not something that is currently functional now.

There aren't any other relevant questions to to what you you have been demonstrating there's quite a lot of questions about um other things but um would you like to carry on thank you.

Great thank you very much for that Simon cheers um so if I just um move on and so the next page is the employee declaration um page. Where um you guys would upload the employer declaration form that should be um signed by yourselves yourselves and the employer um and only one declaration form needs to be required for each claim um but if if there is uh where the if employer is submitting multiple claims then they can be uploaded um separately. 

So firstly on this page um there needs to be at least one file or one of the employer declaration form um uploaded just so you can substantiate and substantiate the claim that's been made um but if the user was to try to click continue without uploading a file um it'll error because it's a mandatory field um so if I upload a just dummy file for demonstratory purpose um there that that would essentially be the employee declaration form but just it's not for this demonstrating demonstration um but say for example the uh you guys would accidentally input the uploaded the incorrect file and you can just bin it off and go back and uh upload a a new file. I'm not going to do that one actually just it's just not correct one um and then if as you can see the file two three four and five are all optional so they don't need to be um sort of attached to if if not relevant but if further attachments are required as referenced previously then you can include more files if you'd like um. 

Just to show the functionality again um there we go and then you would then continue then the next page is a what we call like the summary page where it provides the an overview of the previously inputted information so Stanley Engineering and the previous information that i put on put on the employer details page there again the learner details is um played back to the playback to you guys as well um and and say for example um when you get onto this page the date the potentially your information is incorrect or you you need to change something or something like that you can just go back um they go back to the associated page where you need to change the information and easily do so and then the only other the the final bit of the form is the uh the declarations see essentially these need to be certified and uh and checked before submission to ensure accuracy and completeness but if you try to submit before doing that it will fail wobbly again you won't be able to do it so just essentially check those check both of those boxes and um click submit. 

So then the next this is essentially the confirmation page um with the reference number of the submission um and also on this on this page here there's a um a downloadable pdf version of the submission that you've made so if I was to um download that pdf here um this essentially is a a playback of what I had on the um on this summary page essentially so um. My details again with New College as the provider the employer details and the learner details of the ULN the T Level uh that they're studying the start date and the industry placement start date as well and this will just replicate for as many learners um as you have but obviously for my example there was only one learner that i had on there but up to say like say i can add up to 20 learners on this pdf document and uh just just one thing to know if you was just if you if you don't download the pdf on this page here when you click off it you will not be able to get the pdf again. 

So i would recommend downloading the pdf and saving the pdf um just for your records if you think if you uh would like to um which is easy enough by doing that button there um and then the only the last thing that the last thing on the form is once they once you've submitted the form you get this confirmation page and you'll also get a confirmation email which is here um just providing further confirmation of the submission that has been made with the just a reminder of the claims deadline and yeah that's it for me um in terms of the actual form itself so is there any um further questions from anybody else anything else in the chat Simon.

No not not related to um to your demonstration thank you I don't know whether anyone has any further questions about uh the data tool um hopefully you will see that we have made it as um easy and simple to complete as possible um and have limited the amount of information that we need to collect to um the the minimum and we can get away with um. I don't know um whether anyone has any questions I can't see anything else in the chat specifically about the tool

um, so and just having a quick look to see if there are um any other questions um I think there are some that we maybe haven't answered in I think we've answered most of them as we've gone through and there might be one or two that we haven't answered but we will go back and make sure that we get an answer to um every question um and we'll get um a response sent out to everyone that is um on the um call so um there is a couple of other slides I think after this one isn't the um Vicci. 

So just um to remind you of some links uh so first of all at the link there to where you'll find the guidance um details on the funding rules um which I covered at the top of this presentation um information on the um conditions for the employer and the declaration form that we are asking the employer to complete um and um the if you need any help or support uh there is a dedicated email address which you can see on the screen there so email that um email address and we will come back to you uh with an answer um. 

We will be um sending out a um guidance document um with the release of the online tool that will just give you um the the overview that you've received today from Sam talking about kind of how to enter the data um. I can see there is uh would be able to go over again the company's not eligible for payment so effectively the only organizations that are not eligible for a incentive payment are government departments and arms length bodies and other than that anyone else is eligible for payment so local authorities national health trusts with a wider public sector are all eligible for a payment.

Yes, schools would be eligible um okay I unless anyone has any other questions that they would like to put into the um the chat uh for us to answer um we would um I think we we can probably bring this to a close as I said we will be coming out to you again shortly with um the details of how to get access to the tool once it's been um launched and we will provide some information around how to enter data into it um and um. I'd just like to say thank you very much for attending and we will ensure that we answer all the questions that have been raised in the chat.


Webinar Q&As

We have provided answers to all the specific questions asked at the webinar. We would recommend that all staff involved in the administration of incentive payments familiarise themselves with the published funding rules and associated guidance.

If I have early years employers who have supported T Level students during the month of June, and will continue in September with the same students, these payments could be claimed for?

Yes. Any placement that commenced on or after the 27 May 2021 is eligible for an incentive payment. Placements must have started by and including 31 July 2022 to be eligible for an incentive payment.

If we are organising industry placements now for students studying on a T Level from September 2021, can we assure employers they will get the incentive payment even though we won’t receive the funds until November?

Yes, funds are guaranteed for the November pay run based on your official September 2021 enrolment figures.

If a student has a placement that includes two employers, then the incentive can be paid to both?

Yes, both employers are eligible to receive the £1,000 payment.

If we receive a fixed amount of funding based on our number of September 2020 T level students, what happens if a student secures 2 employers to complete their industry placements hours? Will this double the amount of funding we receive as a college?

We will be monitoring the payment spend of each provider and will arrange for further funds to be paid to providers if required, where additional funds are still available. Our total investment fund for this scheme includes an allowance for the two-employer model.

How is a region classified?

By the employer organisational regions, or by government decided regions (e.g. South West)? The regions are defined as:

  • East of England
  • East Midlands
  • London
  • North East
  • North West
  • South East
  • South West
  • West Midlands
  • Yorkshire and the Humber

These are listed in the Incentive Fund Funding Rules

Does the declaration form that employers complete to get the incentive payment, ask the same questions as those asked on the online data tracking tool?

Yes, the declaration form asks the same questions that are on the online tool.

Is there marketing documentation available to provide to prospective employers?

We have not produced any marketing materials, however, please refer employers to the employer incentive guidance on GOV.UK. There is also information being developed to be published on the T Levels and Industry Placements Support for Employers service.

How many staff per institution will have access to the data tracking tool?

Any number of users can access the online tool from the same institution, so long as they have a DfE user account.

Some student ULN’s take a while to come through to our institution and we don't always have this straight away in September or October. Would this prevent us from proceeding with logging this placement on the online tool?

You will need a student’s ULN to process claims on the online form. If you have placements which start in September or October, and you are able to upload details for the next deadline date the tool should be updated once you have obtained the ULN.

Would there be a way to source ULNs to avoid delays?

Unfortunately, we are unable to fast track ULN’s to providers. We advise that you upload the tool at the first available opportunity once you have had confirmation of the student’s ULN.

Is there a plan to be able to input bulk learner numbers onto the online tool, such as by adding data using a CSV file?

There is no functionality included in the online form to do bulk upload, however, for an employer delivering multiple placements, the employer only needs to submit one employer declaration for all placements with an agreed start date.

If multiple students undertake their placement with the same employer but have different start dates, do I still only need to use one employer declaration form?

Yes, one employer declaration is acceptable, so long as all the placement start dates are recorded for each student entry. We would expect in this scenario that the placement start dates will be close together, so you are not paying employers too far in advance.

If multiple students undertake their placement with the same employer, do I need to complete one employer declaration form per every student?

No, only one declaration form is required per employer, if they are offering placements to multiple students at the same time or with start dates that are close together.

How does the employer receive the payment - do they provide their bank details?

It is up to you, as the provider, to pay employers. We expect this to be completed by BACS in most cases. In this scenario you would need to obtain the employer’s bank details.

For the Declaration Form, does it have to have a wet signature on, or is an e-signature ok?

An e-signature is sufficient.

Is there any way of cross checking the reference number to an employer if you haven't downloaded the PDF?

When you submit your claim you will receive a confirmation email of the claim submission. However, it is recommended that you download a copy of the PDF for your personal records.

Which companies are not eligible for the payment?

All employers are eligible for an incentive payment, except Government Departments and Arm’s Length Bodies. You can find a list of non-eligible employers on GOV.UK. Please note that schools, local authorities and NHS trusts are all eligible for an incentive payment.

Further information

Please use this link to access the online form:

You can download the following below:-

  • Step by step guidance an using tracking tool
  • Slides from the webinar
  • Q&A from the webinar

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