T Level Placements

The 350+ team is working to support the creation of NHS placements for T Level students across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

T Levels are a new vocational two-year qualification for 16–18-year-olds. Equivalent to three A Levels, they help young people gain valuable workplace skills and include a mandatory work placement of 315 hours (approximately 45 days). More and more colleges are offering T Levels, with a large range of subjects, including Health, Healthcare Science, Engineering Design and Development, Digital Business Services, Legal, Finance and Accounting, IT Production, Catering and Management.

We’ve prepared some helpful FAQs about T Levels to support departments across our NHS to create placement opportunities for the workforce of the future.

More information about T Levels is available on the government website at www.tlevels.gov.uk

Why are T Level placements important to the NHS?

By choosing T Levels, students have made a commitment to vocational learning and joining a workplace. As the nation’s largest employer, a key priority for the NHS is ensuring it is attracting the workforce of the future. T Levels offer the perfect opportunity to develop talented young people’s skills for the benefit of them and the NHS.

Which courses do you support?

We are offering placements for T Level students in both clinical and non-clinical roles.

We are currently taking applications for placements in: 

Health and Science

We are taking expressions of interest from post-16 providers for placements in:   

  • Accounting  
  • Business & Admin 
  • Digital & IT  
  • Catering

We are currently in talks with departments who could facilitate placements for:

  • Engineering & Manufacturing   
  • Construction and built environment 
  • Creative design
Is there a cost to the department?

There is no financial costs to the department, and no payment made to students. The only business cost would be the time of the NHS colleague supervising/mentoring the student. The student funds their own travel and lunch, or if they are eligible for free school meals or other assistance, this is arranged by the college.

How do we go about finding a student/students for placement?

You can speak with a member of our T Levels team, who in turn co-ordinates placements, working with the college and with your Trust’s careers team. Just email  nhseducation.outreach@solent.nhs.uk to get started.

Does a placement need to be in a solid block of time?

No. In total, the placement must add up to a minimum of 315 hours (approximately 45 days), but how you do this is up to you, depending on what works best for your team, the student and the college.  The placement can be split over a long period of time – for example, one day per week for several months, or three days a week for fewer months. If you would like the placement to be in a 45-day block, that is fine too. Most placements take place during the second year of the student’s course.

Are students DBS checked?

Yes. DBS checks are carried out by colleges when students start their course. If any additional DBS checks are required by NHS departments, the colleges can do these.

What are the NHS’s responsibilities during a placement?

The department where the student is undertaking their placement is responsible for: 

  • providing a safe working environment 
  • giving the student opportunities to develop their technical skills within your department  
  • providing a dedicated member of staff to support, supervise and mentor the student  
  • carrying out an induction that includes explaining relevant policies and procedures  
  • at the end of the placement, providing formal feedback to the college about the student’s progress against the agreed list of learning objectives set at the start of the placement  
Can a team or department have more than one student on placement?

Yes. It is not uncommon to have more than one student working in the same department at the same time, so long as each student is given fulfilling work that develops their skills. 

Do placements have to be Healthcare ones?

No. Any department can offer a placement to students studying non-healthcare T Levels such as Digital T Levels. T Level subject areas translate into lots of different NHS departments. This can include Estates, Communications, Catering, Finance and Technology.

How will placements impact on NHS staff time?

Students need to be supervised. Supervisors do not have to be clinicians. Each team/department works to what is appropriate for their specific setting.

What paperwork will students come to placement with?

There will be minimal paperwork, to be completed by the supervisor. There is a requirement to confirm students have arrived each day and completed each week, and each college has an online system this can be lodged on.

What about health and safety?

You do not need to carry out a separate risk assessment for young people aged under 18.​  
Employers do not need to obtain any additional employer’s liability insurance for young people under the age of 18.​ If you are new to having young people in your workforce, review your risk assessment and take into account the specific factors for young people. ​ 

Employers need to consider whether the work the young person will do:​ 

  • is beyond their physical or psychological capacity​ 
  • involves harmful exposure to substances that are toxic​ 
  • involves harmful exposure to radiation​ 
  • involves risk of accidents that cannot reasonably be recognised or avoided by young people​ 
  • has a risk to health from extreme cold, heat, noise or vibration. 
Will students have to IT systems/programmes?

They can if it is a requirement for the role and all appropriate safeguarding and GDPR policies have been followed.

What is the assessment process – is there a ‘pass/fail’?

There is no assessment needed, just a meaningful placement for the student.  
The college will be in touch with the department at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the placement to seek feedback. Students must undertake a full placement to pass their T Level.

What if a student is absent?

On the rare occasion a student does not arrive at placement, please get in touch with your college contact to inform them.

Do students bring tariff funding?

No. However, students will have their DBS checks and Occupational Health checks paid for by the education provider.

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