The government is launching a new T Level qualification in marketing, which will seek to teach students skills needed for the “jobs of tomorrow”.
Kicking off in September 2025, the Marketing T Level will offer young people the chance to combine study in a learning environment with a “substantial industry placement” of at least nine weeks, providing real experience in their chosen sector.
Equivalent to three A Levels, the T Level will give students the chance to blend learning and work experience to prepare them to progress into work, further study or an apprenticeship in marketing.
This means a student studying for a T Level in Marketing will only study for that single qualification, rather than the existing system of taking three A Levels. Currently, there is no dedicated A Level in marketing, with the subject forming part of wider Business Studies courses.
It is vital that we continue to work with employers to make sure we are offering the qualifications that will provide businesses with the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow.
Alex Burghart, apprenticeships and skills minister
T Levels were first rolled out in the UK in 2020, with courses such as Digital Business Services and Digital Support Services. The government says it chose marketing as its newest T Level because the industry is a “very popular profession for young people” and companies are “crying out” for experienced marketing talent.
While the new T Level is in the early stages of development, next month the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) will launch a pre-market engagement process with interested organisations. Following the engagement exercise the IfATE will contract an awarding organisation to develop and deliver the T Level.
The government stresses the course content will be designed to meet the needs of employers.
Recognising marketing is a “burgeoning sector” set to offer “huge job opportunities in the future”, apprenticeships and skills minister Alex Burghart sees the T Level in Marketing as the “next exciting step” in the state’s reforms to technical education.
“It is vital that we continue to work with employers to make sure we are offering the qualifications that will provide businesses with the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow and will help more young people progress into great jobs,” Burghart adds.
Patricia Seabright, chair of the panel which developed the T Level in Business Administration, believes the new qualification will be “instrumental” in offering opportunities for young people and serving the needs of UK business.
“The commercial professions of marketing, B2B sales and procurement are the engine room of business, productivity and national prosperity,” she states.
“Technical skills and education in this area is pivotal to UK commercial success, so the introduction of a T Level in this area will be a huge step forward in both building awareness of these great career options for young people at 16- to 18-years-old, and for developing the skills and capabilities that industry needs.”
The lack of awareness of marketing in schools has long been considered an obstacle in getting more young people to consider a career in the industry. This issue has historically been compounded by the fact marketing comprises only part of a wider GCSE or A Level in Business Studies. Couple with that the slow adoption of marketing apprenticeships within business.
Marketing Week’s 2022 Career and Salary Survey revealed more than half (57.9%) of marketers work for a brand with no marketing apprenticeship. Of the 4,463 marketers surveyed, 21.2% say the company does not currently see the value in it. A further 10.4% say it is too complicated to develop a programme, while 6.6% cannot get buy-in at the highest level.
However, in rolling out the T Level qualification, the government is keen to also publicise the opportunities provided by apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships in marketing, as well as the free 16-week course in digital marketing currently offered to UK adults.
Speaking to Marketing Week earlier this year, Burghart identified apprenticeships as having the potential to transform opportunity, “giving young people a three-year head start in the workplace on their undergraduate friends.”
Marketing Week’s Opening Up campaign is pushing for the democratisation of marketing careers. Follow our coverage of the challenges and opportunities over the coming weeks. Read all the articles from the series so far here.