Making payments to industry placement students

T Levels are qualifications for students aged 16 to 19 in England who've finished GCSEs. Industry placements are part of the T Level course and offer high-quality, meaningful 'real-life' experiences of the workplace, not employment.

Industry placement students are not entitled to a salary because the placement is part of a further education course. There is no legal requirement or expectation that students will be paid.

However, you can pay students if you want to. The goal is, to help as many students and employers as possible to benefit from industry placements, and to prevent students from facing any avoidable costs.

You can choose to pay students a wage. You can also pay bonuses and attendance allowances to cover travel and other costs.

Here's a list of the different types of payments you can make, and the potential reasons for each. Your provider can advise you about all of this, and tell you what payments other employers are making.

Types of payment


  • Motivates the student to work hard and to deliver
  • Recognises the contribution made by the student to the business
  • Differentiates students from volunteers
  • Avoids negative effects on your reputation as a good employer which may result from unpaid work

Wages paid to students are subject to tax and National Insurance.

Wage to students already on the payroll as part-time workers

  • No change to existing terms and conditions of employment
  • The part-time hours count towards the placement, as long as they are occupationally-relevant
  • The provider can advise on any changes needed to meet the placement requirements

Bonus, if the student achieves agreed milestones

  • May motivate the student and boost their morale by encouraging achievement
  • This could be in the form of vouchers
  • Should be clearly agreed upon in advance to avoid misinterpretation.

Allowance covering costs of equipment, travel, food etc.

  • Provides a safety net so the student isn’t out of pocket
  • Doesn’t affect families in receipt of benefits
  • Helps to remove financial barriers to taking part in the placement

Non-financial rewards

  • Can boost morale through recognition of achievement. For example, mentions in newsletters or as case studies promoting their contribution.

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