The first outline T Level content for the IfATE Engineering and Manufacturing (E&M) route, for the Design and Development pathway, is now published.  In our opinion it maps out a high-quality programme of core education for young people aspiring to a career in the E&M sectors.

Assuming that the T Level content development follows the same course as the other technical routes – like, for example the Construction route, which has published outline T Level content for all its pathways – each eventual E&M T Level will contain the following core content:

  • Working within the Engineering and Manufacturing Sector
  • Engineering and manufacturing past, present, and future
  • Essential mathematics for engineering and manufacturing
  • Essential science for engineering and manufacturing
  • Materials and their properties
  • Mechanical principles
  • Electrical and electronic principles
  • Mechatronics
  • Engineering and manufacturing control systems
  • Recognised standards in engineering and manufacturing
  • Standard operating procedures (SOPs)
  • Health and safety principles and coverage
  • Business, commercial and financial awareness
  • Professional responsibilities, attitudes, and behaviours
  • Stock and asset management
  • Quality assurance, control and improvement
  • Continuous improvement
  • Project and programme management.

While there is much in the core programme to provide a thorough grounding in E&M for young people, we wonder to what extent the individual routes are contributing to each other’s development.  For example, in an ever expanding ‘green’ economy, would the Construction route’s core Sustainability module not have been a valuable addition (albeit with adaptation for the E&M sector) to the E&M T Level?

Also, to what extent have the T Level development teams looked outside for ‘off-the-shelf’ modules to streamline development and address some of the softer skills, such as this one available on the Future Learn MOOC platform on Innovation Management?

Finally, we wonder how much synergy now exists between the T Level developments and the apprenticeship framework development, as represented in the map below.  How much of the T Level content is being considered for reuse in the Design and Development Technician standards such as Engineering Design and Draughtsperson, at least as foundational content for people who will not have taken the T Level before embarking on their apprenticeship?

IfATE Engineering and Manufacturing Occupational Map, showing Occupational ‘Clusters’ (replicated from IfATE map, Aug 19)