Stourbridge MP Suzanne Webb has asked the education secretary if he would encourage local companies to take part in T-Levels and offer industry placements to young people.
Suzanne has jobs and investment as a top priority for the constituency, particularly for young adults who have been hit hard by the pandemic.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday, she asked Gavin Williamson: “I am a great believer in the idea that a university education is not always the route to a high-quality job and that T-levels are a fantastic opportunity to provide not only the technical qualifications, but the industry placements, which are so important.
“Will my right honourable friend support me in my drive and mission to encourage businesses in my constituency to come on board and provide those industry placements?
“It is a win-win situation not just for young adults, but for businesses because they can circumnavigate the recruitment process as they will have those candidates on board and can experience what they can deliver.”
In reply, the secretary of state said: “My honourable friend has identified the real opportunities that exist for businesses in working with young people and colleges and bringing them into their company.
“T-levels have been designed hand in glove with employers, making sure that they are not only fit for employers, but work for students as well.
“I join her in encouraging employers to take on placements for T-levels. We are seeing a big expansion this year and expect an even bigger expansion next year.”
Speaking afterwards Suzanne said: “I want opportunities for young people to be able to learn skills and earn right here in Stourbridge.
“T Levels are a big part of this and I would like to see more companies taking advantage of the opportunity. I’m delighted that university is not seen by this government as the 'be all and end all' of education. But we need a cultural shift in industry as well as in schools if this new avenue is to be used effectively.”
Both Dudley College of Technology and Halesowen College offer T Levels.