Work on the legal services T-Level – a new vocational alternative to A-Levels – is to begin after training company Pearson won the £3.4m contract to develop it in association with CILEX.
T-Levels are classroom-based two-year courses, for 16-to-19 year-olds, that follow GCSEs and are equivalent to three A Levels.
T Levels are built from the same employer-defined occupational standards that guide apprenticeships. A core differentiator is that they involve extensive ‘on-the-job’ training through an industry placement lasting around 45 days.
The legal services T-Level is aimed at students who want to progress into business administration roles in the sector, or to access further education and pursue a career in the law.
It will allow progression directly into the CILEX Professional Qualification, giving students a pathway to progressing through the CILEX levels of paralegal, advanced paralegal and, ultimately, a CILEX lawyer with full practice rights.
There will be 23 T-Levels in all and the first three – design, surveying and planning for construction; digital production, design and development; and education and childcare – were launched in September 2020. More are being rolled out each September, with legal services in the final phase in 2023.
Pearson won the competitive bid to produce the law T-Level, having delivered the 2020 construction and digital courses, and it will go live with the T-Levels for the finance and accounting sectors this year.
CILEX’s role will be to ensure the qualification content is current, relevant and supports the professional standards for the sector.
Jennifer Coupland, chief executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education – which oversees T-Levels and awarded the contract – said: “This exciting new T Level will help open out the profession to people who may want to follow a more direct training route into work.
“It will also be an important stepping stone to degree apprenticeships and more conventional degrees.”
CILEX chief executive Linda Ford added: “As the pioneer of the non-university route into law, it is only fitting that we partner with Pearson to deliver the new legal services T-Level.
“By creating another pathway into the law for students, we will continue to drive social mobility in the profession and bring to bear our experience of providing thousands of work-ready practitioners into the legal services sector.”