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New technical and vocational qualifications launched

11/12/2014 Joanna
Pupils are to have access to better vocational and technical education after the government launched a range of new subjects.

Engineering, hospitality, construction and social care are all included in the lists of qualifications, which cover the full range of technical and vocational qualifications taught up to the age of 19.

Included within the three categories of qualifications are the new ‘technical certificates’, which help 16 to 19-year-olds into skilled trades.

Technical awards for 14 to 16-year-olds are also included, along with the A level-equivalent tech levels.

Changes have been made to the vocational system after the publication of a report in 2011, which found that thousands of 16 to 19-year-olds were doing vocational courses that were of little value.

The study, by Professor Alison Wolf, found some schools were putting on qualifications that served to boost their league table position but were not in the interests of their pupils.

Thousands of subjects, including study skills and induction to college, have been taken out, meaning the number that can be reported in league tables has dropped from over 5,000 to just 625.

Skills minister Nick Boles said: "I'm proud to announce this government has stripped out every single poor-quality course and made sure that qualifications are of the highest standard.

"This is a sweeping change to vocational education that, combined with the two million new apprentices, will make sure that every young person has the best possible chance to really make a go of things."

The latest qualifications will prepare youngsters for some of the fastest-growing and most rewarding jobs of the future, in areas ranging from construction to business and finance.

Employers have helped to design many of the courses, which are to count in league tables from 2017.

The qualifications offer clear pathways for pupils to take through the vocational and technical route, meaning they can develop their skills in a particular area over the three stages - alongside their GCSEs, through a tech-level certificate and then by taking a tech level course and an apprenticeship.

Posted by Charlotte MichaelsADNFCR-2164-ID-801765417-ADNFCR
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