Employer Support Fund
Industry placements are at the heart of T Levels and every student must complete a placement of a minimum of 315 hours to successfully complete their T Level. Some employers are unable to offer industry placements because of the additional costs associated with hosting a student. In response to this a temporary one-year Employer Support Fund is available to support employers with legitimate costs and enable them to offer placements. The fund is for students who start a placement between 1 April 2023 and 31 March 2024.
Although the fund only lasts a year, its long-term objective is to secure a pipeline of T Level industry placements built on lasting relationships between employers and providers.
Funding is managed by T Level providers, who have received an allocation based on the number of T Level students they have on programme. Providers are responsible for working with employers to understand how best to use their funds. Providers may choose to use the funding where it is hardest to source industry placements and to engage employers who are not otherwise able to deliver them.
If you wish to make a claim for the additional costs of hosting a student starting a placement during this period, you should discuss this with your provider as soon as possible.
How much can be claimed
Funding may be claimed for every student you are offering a placement to. The maximum amount of funding that any one employer can claim is £25,000. This is a total value which includes funding from all providers the employer is working with.
There is no limit on the amount that can be claimed for a student, but the costs must be eligible (see below). If a placement is shared between two or more employers as part of a permissible delivery approach, each employer can claim for their additional costs.
You can only claim for costs that have actually been incurred. You must provide details of these costs in an ‘Employer Declaration Form’.
There are three types of eligible costs:
- Administrative costs – these are the direct costs of setting up processes, procedures and systems for the placement and providing a physical workspace for the student, including renting extra space if needed.
- Training costs – these are the direct costs of providing staff with the practical skills to support students on placements, e.g. mentoring. Training may be delivered in various ways including workshops, internal guides or online courses.
- Tangible costs – these are costs of operating the placement such as PPE or other equipment, insurance, security passes, mandatory vaccinations, mandatory training, software licensing, materials and supplies, supervising the student on placement, and transport for the student. Employers may also claim for organising additional training that enables a student to gain full value from the placement. This includes training before the placement starts.
All costs claimed for must be directly attributable to the placement and would not have occurred otherwise. The fund must not be used to pay students a salary or wage.
How costs are declared
Costs are declared on an ‘Employer Declaration Form’ under the three types of eligible cost shown above. Details of specific items must be stated, and the costs given. The completed form must be counter-signed by the provider to show they are satisfied that the costs claimed are legitimate.
The declaration form covers all the students being claimed for – you don’t need a separate form for each student. If you work with more than one provider, you must complete a separate declaration form for each provider. The form can be completed online, and electronic signatures are allowed.
You should keep receipts and proofs of purchase as spot checks may be carried out as part of quality assurance.
How payments are made
Providers agree with you when you will receive payments from the fund. This is normally after the student starts on the placement, but payment may be made before then in some circumstances, e.g. to buy equipment needed for the placement. Payments are normally made using BACS.
All payments from the fund must be made before 31 March 2024
When funds are returned
You are not expected to return the money already spent on a placement if the student drops out unexpectedly. However, the provider may want to discuss with you how to use it to support another student instead.
If you decide to stop hosting a student during the placement, or if the provider decides to remove the student because the placement is poor quality, you may be asked to refund some of the money received from the fund.
Click on the links below for more guidance on the Employer Support Fund including detailed funding rules and template for the Employer Declaration Form.
Employer Support Fund – Funding rules
Employer Support Fund – Employer Declaration Form
Employer Support Fund – Employer Guidance