UTC Sheffield Principal Alex Reynolds has been appointed to a new government panel as part of a national shake-up of vocational education.

The government is launching 15 new technical qualifications, known as T Levels, as part of an overhaul of the education system for 16 to 19-year-olds.

T Levels aim to put technical qualifications on an equal footing with academic ones and simplify the process of vocational training in England. They will be available in 15 subjects, and start replacing current vocational qualifications from 2020 onwards.

The Department for Education (DfE) has set up panels to develop the outline content for the new T Levels. The panels comprise employers, professional bodies and education providers.

Membership of six of the 15 T Level panels covering digital, education and childcare, construction, health and science, legal, financial and accounting, and engineering and manufacturing, was announced by the DfE on November 30th.

Alex Reynolds, Principal of UTC Sheffield City Centre, has been appointed to the T Level panel for engineering and manufacturing – which is also a technical specialism offered at the UTC.

Alex said: “UTC Sheffield has a national reputation for equipping students with high level advanced engineering and manufacturing skills that employers need, and I am delighted to be appointed to the T Level panel for this sector.”

T Levels are being launched as a result of the government’s Post 16 Skills Plan, which is based on Lord Sainsbury’s independent review. They aim to support young people and adults to secure skilled employment and meet the needs of the economy.

UTC Sheffield is running a series of showcase events for young people interested in creative and digital media, advanced engineering, computing, healthcare sciences and sport science. The next events take place on January 16th and January 24th. Visit www.utcsheffield.org.uk/events.