The Department for Education is holding a review to find an agency to handle the £3m account to launch and promote T Levels.
The DfE is keen to increase understanding, raise awareness and create positive perceptions of the new technical qualifications, which are due to start in September 2020 and will be equivalent to three A Levels.
Pitches are being held next week, with the appointed agency due to start by the end of the month. It is a quick turnaround – the department wants a brand to be ready to go by late March/early April.
According to a briefing document seen by Campaign, the budget for the end of this financial year is £250,000, with a further £3m bookmarked for 2019/20. Additional money will be available to support the launch of institutes of technology, where students can study the more advanced levels 4 and 5.
Any budget for 2020/21 will depend on the next comprehensive spending review.
The DfE is keen to establish the T Levels as a "credible qualification that is here to stay" to push back on the parallels that have been drawn between their introduction and previous failed reforms.
The account will be handled separately from the apprenticeships business, but the brief says the department is looking for agencies to recommend how it could "give a sense of coherence" to different technical education products over time.
Wavemaker handles the DfE's media planning, while Manning Gottlieb OMD works on all of the government's buying.
A spokeswoman for the DfE was unavailable for comment.