Action plan for investment


- Introduction
- Who is it for?
- How to use this resource
- Demand
- Accommodation, facilities and equipment
- Staffing 
- Funding support  
- Glossary of terms 
- Downloadable tables


Preparing for T Levels requires investment of financial resources, time and effort. This resource helps you to determine the areas where investment may be needed.

It consists of a series of questions in three areas. Answering these questions should help you to anticipate the necessary funding and resources needed, and to make a business case for the investment.

Who is it for? 

Senior leaders and curriculum leads. 

How to use this resource

Use the resource as part of strategic planning, to look at the three areas:

Demand – using labour market intelligence to estimate the level of demand for T Levels you’re planning to offer

Accommodation, facilities and equipment – to determine the use of existing resources and identify the need for additional resources

Staffing – to determine effective use of existing staff and identify the need for new staff. Each of these areas allow you to plan your approach and make an initial assessment of the level of investment you will need. The resource also includes a summary of funding support available and a glossary of terms.


Predicting student numbers is a key part of T Level planning. Your organisation’s T Level offer will be designed to attract enough students to make the programme viable and sustainable in the long term. Sustainability is an important factor because of the high upfront investment costs required to set up a high-quality T Level programme, and the need to run the programme for a period of time to recoup costs.

Attracting students over a period of several years means that your T Level programme must produce high-quality outcomes in terms of progression to employment. It should demonstrate to students that their investment of time and effort in the qualification is worthwhile compared to a similar investment in the alternatives such as A levels or apprenticeships. To achieve this cost-benefit, the T Levels you offer must be linked to employment prospects and the likely demand for skills in your local and regional labour market.

Labour market intelligence (LMI) provides a statistical picture of current and future employment and skills trends. It uses data gathered directly from the labour market and employer surveys. LMI is available on a national or regional basis and for different industry sectors. Information about the local labour market can come directly from your contacts with employers, employer networks and staff, and from other sources such as news reports. Providers analyse LMI to identify economic priorities, growth and changes to the labour market. Your organisation can use this information to help plan your T Level offer.


1. Which stakeholder groups are you intending to work with, to identify potential opportunities to support T Levels?

Groups may include LEPs[1], Chambers of Commerce, Local Authorities, employer networks, provider networks etc.

2. Which other sources of labour market intelligence (LMI) are you planning to use, to identify potential demand for the T Levels you offer?

Sources may include:

3.     How do you plan to analyse LMI to:

  • estimate demand for T Levels and occupational specialisms
  • be confident that students completing their T Levels will have appropriate progression opportunities?

[1] See the Glossary of Terms for an explanation of acronyms and technical terms

Investment implications

Expanding your offer to students

Involving more employers

Accommodation, facilities and equipment 

T Levels are designed to equip students with the technical skills and knowledge sought by employers. Students should be able to learn using up-to-date facilities and equipment which prepare them for current and future jobs in their chosen industry. For investment purposes, it’s important to anticipate that T Levels may be more demanding in terms of specialist facilities and equipment than other courses, especially in relation to occupational specialisms. 

Students should also be able to study in accommodation that is fit for purpose. Providers already delivering T Levels are finding that these programmes are more demanding on accommodation than other full-time courses. For example, where they might expect to accommodate two full-time courses per room, with T Levels it is closer to 1.5. 


1. How are you planning to accommodate T Level cohorts?

This may require you to determine:

  • accommodation already available (including that released by programmes or courses no longer offered)
  • any extra capacity needed over and above what is already available.

2. Which T Levels are likely to need new specialist facilities and /or equipment, and how will these new requirements be specified?

3.     How much scope is there to share accommodation and facilities?

Examples may include:

  • sharing accommodation with existing courses
  • sharing facilities between different T Levels, e.g. CAD facilities shared between digital and construction
  • gaining access to specialist facilities on employers’ premises.

4.  How will you assess whether the equipment currently available is fit for purpose, and what new equipment is needed?

You should:

  • ensure that equipment is up-to-date and currently used by employers
  • plan to have enough equipment available for all students
  • find out what access students may have to specialist equipment through employers
  • explore the possibility of loans and / or sponsoring of equipment from specialist suppliers.

5.     Where could there be a need to obtain new systems, or upgrade existing ones, to support T Levels? Examples include:

  • CRM systems
  • Systems for tracking and monitoring student progress, including on industry placements.

Investment implications

Construction of new premises and / or re-purposing of existing premises to accommodate T Levels.

Provision of state of the art facilities and equipment.

Internal systems.


Staff costs account for almost two-thirds (64%) of total costs in further education (February 2020).  The staffing budget for T Levels will be a major driver of future costs and should be set against the income from projected student numbers on your organisation’s T Level programmes.  

If you’re planning to recruit T Level students for a 2023 start, you’ll need the information on expected student numbers at least a year in advance, to give you time to plan and make changes to staff deployment and recruitment. A whole organisational approach is essential to make good use of staff and avoid unnecessary costs, while also building teams capable of delivering a high-quality T Level programme.  

Some aspects of T Level design are likely to have higher staffing profiles than the courses they replace. For example: 

  • T Levels require a high level of collaboration, especially at the beginning when new curriculum models are being developed and delivered for the first time 
  • Some T Levels have a number of occupational specialisms, which may require staff with different specialist knowledge and skills 
  • Industry placements may be relatively costly to set up at first, given the need to engage employers and work with then on the placement model. Students will also need a relatively high level of monitoring and support to ensure they make the most of the opportunity and achieve their placement objectives.  


1. How are you planning to allocate staff for the different parts of T Levels, including:

  • curriculum development
  • teaching (occupational specialisms and employability skills as well as core)
  • English maths and digital competences
  • employer engagement
  • communications and marketing?

2. How are you planning to deploy staff on industry placements, including:

  • employer engagement
  • placement design, objectives and learning goals
  • risk assessment
  • preparing students before the placement
  • supporting students and monitoring their progress throughout the placement
  • assessing outcomes?

3. How are you planning to support staff to collaborate on T Level development, including collaboration:

  • among T Level teams
  • with apprenticeship and A level teams
  • across shared functions such as employer engagement, students support, CEIAG and marketing?

4. How are you planning to make good use of staff already employed in the organisation, e.g. by:

  • specifying the knowledge and skills needed
  • identifying staff who already have the knowledge and skills needed
  • upskilling staff

5. What is the requirement for new staff, when will they be recruited and how should the recruitment process change (if at all) for T Levels? You may be able to access the ETF Taking Teaching Further programme.

6. How much pastoral support is needed, over and above the support normally provided, to support students during industry placements, including:

  • outside of normal hours
  • during holidays
  • in diverse geographical locations

7. How much could existing arrangements for CPD need to change, to reflect the newness and complexity of T Levels?

Investment implications

Development of existing staff

Recruitment of new staff

Staff planning

 Funding support  

Funding is currently available to support the development and implementation of T Levels.  The funds available at June 2021 are listed below. They may change in future.  

1. The T Level Capital Fund (TLCF) aims to help eligible further education providers have world class facilities for the delivery of T Levels. There are two elements to the fund:   

  • Specialist equipment allocation (SEA)  
  • Buildings and facilities improvement grant (BFIG) – open to eligible providers to support T Level delivery beginning in 2022/23 in routes for which they have not previously received capital funding for. Independent training providers are not eligible.   

2. The T Level Professional Development programme led by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) is available at no charge to providers planning to deliver T Levels from 2020 onwards. It aims to help providers deliver high-quality T Levels and good outcomes for learners. 

3. T Level Resource Improvement Projects (TRIPS) enable practitioners, managers, specialist provider staff and employers to create, test and develop T Level resources. The purpose of these resources is to help students develop the knowledge, skills, behaviours and occupational competencies required for employment. They are commissioned by the ETF and may be local, regional or national.             

Glossary of terms 




Capacity Development Fund 


Continuing (or continuous) professional development 


Customer relationship management  


Education and Training Foundation 


Higher Education Authority 

Industry Placement 

Is a specific term referring to 16-19 year old students in full time education spending time in an organisation, learning and working.  


Local Enterprise Partnerships 


Labour market intelligence 


Office for National Statistics 


T Level Professional Development 


T Level Capital Fund 


T Level Resource Improvement Projects 

Sector bodies 

Organisations at national and regional level representing industry sectors (for a list of organisations, see 

 Downloadable tables

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