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MPs often wear badges or emblems in solidarity of worthy causes and charities, from Boris Johnson showing his support for Macmillan with the small accessory, to other politicians wearing a red poppy to mark Remembrance day in November.
However, there’s been a new badge cropping up on the political scene - with the Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi wearing a badge which showcases the letters “TL”, but what does it mean?
Nadhim Zahawi’s new “TL” badge has already fascinated the likes of LBC radio host Nick Ferrari, who asked Zahawi if his emblem stood for “Tory Leader”.
The radio DJ joked that it is “clearly [Zahawi’s] bid now to usurp the Prime Minister” amid the Downing Street party fiasco, while Mr Zahawi soon set the record straight. So, what does the “TL” badge really mean?
Well, the “TL” badge simply means “T-Levels”, a new qualification for 16-19-year-olds which combines classroom learning with a work placement, instead of traditional A-Levels.
The Education Secretary seems to be advocating for the new schooling method with his badge, in a bid to better-prepare students for the real world of work.
In November 2021, the MP told the Commons: “I am a firm believer in T-levels. As I have said before, I want them to become as famous as A-levels, and I want to ensure that we get them right.”
“As many young people as possible should have the advantage of studying for and successfully completing a T-level.”
The Government website states: “Equivalent to 3 A-Levels, a T-Level focuses on vocational skills and can help students into skilled employment, higher study or apprenticeships.”
The site continued: “T-Level students spend 80% of the course in the classroom, learning the skills that employers need. The other 20% is a meaningful industry placement, where they put these skills into action.”
The two-year, T-Level courses were rolled out in September 2020, and can be carried out in the subject areas below:
Over the next few years, even more T-Level courses will be launched in schools and colleges across the UK, in subjects like accounting, catering, craft and design, healthcare science, media, broadcast and production, and legal.
You can read more about T-Levels on the Gov.uk website.
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