New technical and professional education reforms will address skills shortage

Plans for ground-breaking reforms to technical and professional education (TPE) which will set England’s system on a par with the best in the world were announced by Skills Minister Nick Boles today.

A new system with clearer routes to the world of work will ensure young people get the essential skills employers are looking for the 21st-century economy. These new routes will lead young people from compulsory schooling into employment and the highest levels of technical competence, which for many will mean moving on to apprenticeships as quickly as possible.

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The government is committed to ensuring the large majority of young people go into university or an apprenticeship and has pledged to deliver 3 million quality apprenticeship starts by 2020.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “We want to help all working people be more productive and secure better wages – to do this, we need to help them improve their skills. High-quality technical and professional education for 16- to 19-year-olds is the key.”

“We want to help young people gain relevant skills by offering them technical and professional courses that are focused on a specific career. I am delighted that people with huge experience in business and education like David Sainsbury, Simon Blagden, Bev Robinson and Alison Wolf have agreed to advise us on how to design a technical and professional education system that is the envy of the world.”

The government has already stripped out thousands of low-quality qualifications which were not valued by employers from league tables, following a trailblazing 2011 report from Professor Alison Wolf.

As a result, more than 3,000 worthless courses like marzipan modelling and balloon artistry were removed, and companies are helping shape new content to create gold-standard qualifications.

For the next stage, the government will learn from some of the best systems around the world to put in place a small number of clear and high-quality routes.

Neil Carberry, CBI Director for Employment and Skills policy, said:”Giving young people clarity about the status of their vocational qualifications, and their links to a great career, is essential to building confidence in these vital routes to high-skill, high-pay jobs. Government’s commitment to developing these routes is welcome.”

“To be successful, these routes and the qualifications within them will need to be relevant to employers and stable over time, and businesses look forward to working with the government to achieve this. Within these routes, we want to see gold-standard technical and professional qualifications that share the valued A level brand, as a sign of stability and rigour.”


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