From 2020, they will offer teenagers in England courses in construction, digital, education and childcare.
Each course will include a three-month work placement and are intended as vocational alternatives to A-levels.
Prime Minister Theresa May said they would help the UK to “complete globally”, but Labour called the plans “little more than meaningless spin.”
A further 22 courses will be rolled out in stages from 2021 which will cover sectors such as finance, hair and beauty, engineering, and the creative industries.
The first 52 high schools and colleges to teach the courses span all parts of England.
Education secretary Damian Hinds said England currently has too many courses on offer for 16 to 19-year-olds, which can be confusing for parents, students and industry.
“We haven’t been teaching enough hours” or had businesses as involved as they should be, he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme.
“This is a really big reform,” he said.
Earlier in May, Jonathan Slater, a top official at the Department for Education, wrote to Mr Hinds saying it would be “challenging” to ensure the first three T-levels are ready to be taught from 2020 to a “consistently high standard”.
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