Support for T Level Industry Placements

What is the evaluation?

In 2019, the Department for Education commissioned the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) to conduct and evaluation of the first year of the Capacity and Delivery Fund (CDF). The main stage of the evaluation was completed in November 2019. It involved:

■    Telephone interviews with stakeholders, including policy staff at the Department for Education, National Apprenticeship Service and The Challenge Network.

■    Telephone interviews with staff at 77 providers, sampled to include providers that represent different locations, provider types, routes/pathways and types of support.

■    Telephone interviews with 100 employers at different stages of engagement to gather feedback on decision-making around participation in placements and feedback on how the placements progressed.

■    Census provider survey aimed to gather route-specific feedback on sourcing placements and support during the CDF year.

■    Data analysis of the available quarterly monitoring forms to provide data on provider characteristics, progress, funding and spending. We also conducted qualitative analysis of the intensive support logs kept by AoC and The Challenge.

These findings will be available in a report that will be published in spring 2020.

What is the May 2019 policy update, and what does it mean for the evaluation?

The Department updated its policy on T level delivery models and support in May 2019. The policy now allows the placements to be split across a maximum of two employers and part-time working hours to be counted towards the placement, among other changes.

There were also specific changes made to the delivery models for Digital, Construction and Engineering and Manufacturing routes.

The Department wants to understand how providers and employers view the policy updates, and how they have applied the new models. IES will conduct interviews with a number of providers and employers to gather feedback on the policy update.

What will the evaluation mean for my organisation?

We would like to invite a senior member of staff at your organisation responsible for the delivery of industry placements to take part in an online focus group.

This could be the industry placements coordinator, or someone in a similar role, sourcing and implementing industry placements.

We want to gather feedback on the new models specifically for Digital and Creative routes and understand the successes and challenges to the placements models for these routes.

The focus group will last for one hour and you will be invited to log in to a virtual meeting space – using a webcam, the microphone on your computer or via a phone line. We will send you the log in details when you have confirmed that you are able to attend.

We wish to hold a similar online focus group for employers in the Digital and Creative Industries. We will ask whether you want to share the contact details of 1-2 employers currently engaged in the provision of industry placements. You are not obliged to share the contact details of an employer to take part in the focus group. We understand that you will want to ask for employers’ consent in sharing them before agreeing to do so.

Why should I take part in the research?

T levels will change the provision of vocational qualifications in England. Your contribution in the research will help inform the industry placements policy at this important stage before the first T levels are rolled out next autumn term 2020/21.

What about data protection?

The Department for Education is the data controller for the evaluation. It will share contact details for key staff at providers receiving CDF support with the IES evaluation team. Contact details will only be used for the purposes of completing interviews.

Participation in all research activities is entirely voluntary. Interviewees will be fully briefed on the purposes of the study and how the information they provide will be used before consenting to take part.

We operate fully in-line with data protection legislation (including GDPR) and we will not use the information we receive for anything other than this research.

Who can I talk to about the evaluation?

If you have any queries about the study, your primary contact will be the IES Research Manager, Joy Williams.

For further information please contact

Sarah McLoughlin, Senior Social Research Officer, Department for Education
Tel: 07384 245333 Email:

Joy Williams, Research Manager, The Institute for Employment Studies
Tel: 01273 763 443 Email: