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Approaches to marketing T Levels

Contents

 Introduction
 Who is it for?
 How to use this resource
 Checklists
 Downloadable table

    Introduction

    T Levels are new qualifications, which means that students, employers, staff and other stakeholders may not know much about them or be aware of their benefits. This resource contains guidance on marketing T Levels and industry placements to: 

    • schools, teachers and careers professionals 
    • students 
    • parents, guardians and carers 
    • employers. 

    It consists of: 

    • an introduction to the general principles of marketing T Levels and industry placements 
    • checklists of key messages to the four groups listed above 
    • a table of marketing methods with links to videos and other resources and a list of benefits. 

    Who is it for? 

    Marketing leadsIAG Leads, employer engagement leads. 

    How to use this resource 

    Read the introduction which describes broad principles for marketing T Levels and industry placements.  

    Use the checklists to define messages for different groups.  

    The checklists should help you: 

    • check whether your current approach to marketing T Levels is comprehensive  
    • identify alternative approaches  
    • gain new ideas and inspiration.  

    Look at the methods listed in the table. Choose the ones that interest you and follow the links to resources to find out more. 

    General principles for marketing T Levels and Industry Placements

    1. T Levels are still relatively new, so you may need to explain the basics in your marketing activities and materials: 

    • T levels are a new, high-quality type of learning for 16- to 19-year olds which focus on technical skills and can help students into skilled employment, further study at universities, or higher level apprenticeships. 
    • Industry placements are part of all T Levels. They give students opportunities to develop practical and technical skills and gain experience of the working environment in their chosen area. They give employers the chance to meet young people and to help them develop the skills and experience that employers need. 

    2. There are significant differences between T Levels and the other options for 16- to 19-year olds, such as A Levels, BTECs, other vocational courses, and apprenticeships. You may need to explain how T Levels work in your marketing. You may also need to explain the main differences between T Levels and other options. This will help your target audiences understand how T Levels fit in and whether they could be the right option for them. 

    3. Messages about T Levels and industry placements should be consistent with messages about the other options your organisation offers. Align your T Level and industry placement marketing plans with your organisation’s wider marketing strategy. This helps audiences to make up their minds about which is the best option for them. 

    4. Staff in your organisation are an important source of information about T Levels and industry placements. Devise an internal communications plan so staff understand them and know how to communicate their benefits. 

    5. Real examples add life to your marketing messages. Use testimonials, case studies and examples from the first and second waves of T Levels to show the benefits and features of T Levels and industry placements. 

    6. High-quality industry placements are a unique selling point for T Levels. Emphasise their benefits in your marketing activities and materials. Give real examples of how industry placements have worked for students and how employers have benefited from them. 

    7. Relationships with target audiences can be built and maintained in many ways. Using a wide range of marketing channels and activities gives you the best chance of communicating with a broad and diverse audience. Examples include personal recommendations, referrals, social media, events, meetings, emails, newsletters, press releases etc.   

    8. Plans for marketing T Levels and industry placements should include activities aimed at each target group. Where marketing activities and materials are aimed at a specific group, tailor your messages to the audience. 

    Checklists

    Key Marketing Messages

    Teachers and Careers Professionals 

    • outline the difference between T Levels, A levels and apprenticeships 
    • provide guidance and presentations, to help teachers and careers professionals talk knowledgeably and accurately about T Levels and industry placements alongside other options  
    • emphasise the value of high-quality industry placements, which enable students to gain an understanding and practical experience of the skills, knowledge and behaviours required to thrive in their chosen industry 
    • explain that T Levels attract UCAS points which means they can be used for university entrance 
    • explain that T Levels and industry placements also increase student’s chances of getting a good job in their chosen industry, and are a stepping stone to higher-level apprenticeships 
    • provide case studies and testimonials locally to show how students and employers have benefited from T Levels and industry placements 
    • next steps and ways to find out more. 

    Students

    Explain that: 

    • T Levels are a level 3 programme equivalent to A Levels design in collaboration with leading employers, which provide the technical and practical knowledge and skills valued by employers 
    • there are several different T Level pathways available  
    • high-quality industry placements with local employers are part of all T Levels, providing 45 days of experience which enable students to gain valuable experience of the skills, knowledge and behaviours required to thrive in this type of work 
    • industry placements also develop essential employability skills which will boost students’ CVs and help them to gain a reference from their placement employer 
    • contacts made with local employers through T Levels and industry placements will help them to get a good job afterwards 
    • T Levels attract UCAS points which means they can be used for university entrance 
    • T Levels are also a stepping stone to higher-level apprenticeships. 

    Parents, Guardians and Carers.  

    Explain that: 

    • T Levels are a new, 2-year qualification for 16- to 19-year olds 
    • they are equivalent to 3 A levels or advanced apprenticeships 
    • they include a 45-day industry placement which mean that students can put what they are learning into practice 
    • industry placements give students the chance to build valuable links with employers, and should help them to get a good job afterwards  
    • staff in your organisation support students while they are on their industry placement, to make sure they are working in a safe environment 
    • staff also make sure that industry placements offer students the right level of skills and experience 
    • T Levels generate UCAS points which means they can be used for university entrance. 

    Employers  

    • explain how T Levels fit in with other options such as A levels and apprenticeships 
    • describe the benefits of T Level industry placements to employers: 
    • develop the ‘pipeline’ of talented young people into their business 
    • give young people an extended introduction to the organisation 
    • recruit young people in a cost-effective way 
    • develop knowledge and skills that are highly relevant to the business 
    • boost the level of skills within the industry as a whole 
    • gain additional resource to work on specific projects  
    • introduce a fresh perspective and new ideas 
    • fit their placements in with peaks and troughs in work 
    • support corporate social responsibility  
    • raise the profile and image of the business in the local community.
    • explain the different ways to get involved: 
    • provide industry placements enabling students to gain high-quality experience 
    • share the placement with another employer if they prefer 
    • teach specialist classes 
    • provide access to specialist facilities and equipment 
    • take part in events or groups with other employers to provide expertise and insight about the
    • industry 
    • provide industry insights for students and tutors 
    • provide support and advise on what should be included in the T Level curriculum  
    • mentor students  
    • help students prepare for jobs through mock interviews, employability talks, etc. 

    T Level and Industry Placement Marketing Methods

    Method / channel 

    Audience 

    Example / links 

    Benefits 

    Case studies and testimonials 

    Employers  

    T Level student testimonials from Weston College: 

    “The facilities at the Construction and Engineering Centre of Excellence are fantastic. We have the opportunity to use industry-standard machinery and tools, as well as great library and canteen. All these factors make coming to college a really enjoyable experience.”

    “I was presented with a student of the month award which is something I'm very proud of. Weston College understand how small details like this can really boost a student’s morale and confidence.”

    What next? “This course has provided me with the skills, motivation and confidence I need in order to progress and achieve my career goals. I aim to gain my CSCS qualification and become a self-employed plasterer. At present I'm enrolled on a level one painting and decorating course.”

    Previous school: Hans Price Academy

     

    Case study of Exeter College working with the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter on industry placement opportunities. 

    Weston College talk to one of their employers to create a video testimonial. 

    Cardinal Newman College created a resource quoting students on their T Level experience 

    • Show what T Levels and industry placements are like in reality 
    • Display students’ achievements on their T Levels and the success of industry placements. 

    Websites  

    Students and parents 

    Many schools and colleges have created informative pages on their website and some examples are below. 

    https://sixthform.laretraite.co.uk/The_Offer/T-Levels/ 

    https://www.hsdc.ac.uk/study-with-us/t-levels/ 

    https://www.blackpool.ac.uk/t-levels  

    • Engage students  
    • Provide information for their parents, carers or guardians 
    • Put T Levels in the context of your wider offer 
    • Demonstrate your teaching expertise in areas of the curriculum e.g. specialist Biology, Psychology and Health teachers for Education and Childcare; or specialist Business, ICT and programming teachers for Digital. 

    Social media and networks 

    Students, parents and employers 

    La Retraite Catholic Girl's School, City College Norwich, Cirencester College and Bishop Burton College have taken to social media to promote T Levels and their benefits to students. Links to their accounts and examples of the posts are below. 

    La Retraite twitter 

    La Retraite Linkedin 

    Updates on the T Level are reported on twitter at City College Norwich, Cirencester College and Bishop Burton College

     

    • Provide information about T Levels and industry placements on commonly-used platforms 
    • Quick and easy to update 
    • Can show engaging multimedia content including video.  

    Videos 

    Student 

    La Retraite school YouTube video including interviews with current students: 

    Derby College created a student case study

    Blackpool and the Fylde College have produced a video promoting their Education and Childcare T Level.

    • Give students real-life examples of peers taking part in T Levels and industry placements. 

    Newsletters 

    Parents, guardians and carers 

    Many providers produced newsletters to send to parents, guardians and carers.

    Here is an example from Bury College. 

     

    • Help to keep audiences up to date on a regular basis 
    • Can be targeted at specific groups. 

    Direct sales 

    Employers  

    Weston College use direct sales through their own team. Here is an example of one post.

     

    Helping you complete projects and briefs

    We want to support you. Help you grow and develop your pipeline of future talent.

    We have hundreds of across our provision that can support you and gain work experience through Industry Placements alongside their course.

    We also have learners studying the brand new T level qualification and they can come and support your business for a minimum of 315 hours.

    What we can provide:

    • Skilled students who can add value to your business
    • Dedicated support from our team of experts
    • The next generation of talent
    • A helping pair of hands for your business
    • Help to reach new employers  
    • Create good relationships through personal contact 
    • Are an effective follow-up to other marketing activities.  

    Trade shows, exhibitions, conferences  

    Employers 

    Taking part in trade shows, exhibitions and conferences in targeted locations or sectors should highlight T Levels to prospective employers 

    • Raise awareness about T Levels and industry placements 
    • Boost your interactions with employers. 

    Launch events 

    All audiences 

    Providers promoted the launch of T Levels using online platforms. Here are two examples from Bishop Burton College and The Ursuline Catholic High School.

    Bishop Burton College online launch of a new T Level

    Ursuline High School held a virtual information evening 

    • Provide valuable recommendations to students from their peers 
    • Can include ‘bring a friend’ options and incentives. 

    Careers events 

    Students and parents 

    Providers also used the focus on careers to promote T Levels. Here are examples from Weston College, Farnborough College and Exeter College.

    Weston College created a page answering questions students might ask 

    Farnborough College created a T Levels week for students to sign up to  

    Exeter College created a page about all practical-based courses including T Levels 

    • Give a broad range of information about T Levels and industry placements 
    • Allow parents, guardians or carers to view the facilities and equipment available to T Level students. 
    • Promote additional professional qualifications included in your T Level offer. e.g. childcare licence to practise, first aid training, accredited digital training  

    Presentations and webinars 

    All audiences 

    Providers have carried out presentations and webinars as part of their marketing of T Levels. Here are examples from HSDC and Chichester College.

    HSDC presentation to raise awareness of T levels.  

    Chichester College created a recorded presentation for employers 

    • A cost-effective way of generating interest and raising awareness 
    • Can be targeted at specific audiences  
    • Can be recorded in advance and played multiple times. 

    Public relations / press 

    All audiences 

    As part of raising awareness of T Levels, providers have used press releases to their advantage. 

    City College Norwich promoted that some of their Digital students were successful in a national competition whilst

    Exeter College publicised a visit from the Secretary of State  

     

    • Anyone searching for T Levels in their area can find these promotional videos and information.   
    • They can be sent out by email to target groups and feeder schools.  
    • Quick and easy audience access and reasonable cost to produce. 

    Literature 

    Students 

    Providers produced a variety of printed marketing material. Here is an example from Bishop Burton College's brochure to attract new students.

     

    • Good for feeder schools to have access to 
    • Prospective students/parents/carers can read at their leisure 

     Downloadable table

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