NatCen Social Research and NFER
29 June 2023
NFER are working with NatCen on a longitudinal study of technical education learners, on behalf of the DfE, with annual learner surveys conducted between 2020 and 2024. This research captures learners’ experience of reformed qualifications in technical education, including T Levels and Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs).
This report covers the 2022 learner surveys, which explored learners’ reasons for choosing their course, their aspirations, course delivery, learners’ satisfaction, programme outcomes and future plans. It included learners studying T Levels, the T Level Transition Programme (TLTP), and level 4/5 technical qualifications. The second cohort of T Level learners were compared with learners in the same year group studying A levels and other level 3 technical courses.
- In 2021/22, there was a significant return to in-person teaching for T Level and TLTP learners, and increased participation in work experience.
- A lower proportion of the second T Level and TLTP cohorts (2021 starters) were satisfied with their programme, compared with the first cohorts (2020 starters). The second T Level cohort was less satisfied with their programme than those in the same year group on other level 3 technical and A level courses.
- Most T Level and TLTP learners reported that their courses had developed relevant knowledge, practical skills and understanding of their sector. Similarly, most level 4/5 learners reported that their courses had developed their knowledge of the occupational area and relevant practical skills.
- At the end of the course, most of the first T Level cohort planned to stay in their occupational specialism, most commonly intending to progress to a university degree, a job, or an apprenticeship. For TLTP learners, just over a quarter intended to progress onto a T Level. For level 4/5 learners, the most common intended next steps were a degree or a job.
The Technical Education Learner Survey - Research report