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Vocational Education: Qualifications

Question for Department for Education

UIN 111757, tabled on 25 January 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to strengthen the value of technical qualifications.

Answered on

1 February 2022

The government is reforming technical education to ensure that all post-16 students have access to technical options that support progression and meet employer needs. Our reforms will simplify and put employers at the heart of the system, ensuring that all qualifications are fit for purpose, high-quality and lead to good outcomes.

We are introducing over 20 T Levels, developed with over 250 leading employers. We are investing in direct support for employers to increase the number of industry placements available across all T Levels and have also established a T Level employer ambassador network to engage with others in their industries on T Levels and placements. We want all technical qualifications to be high quality and truly necessary, which is why we are reviewing all other technical qualifications at level 3 and below to create a better, more streamlined system.

While these reforms are taking place, we have introduced a high value course premium for 16-19 year olds to encourage the take up of high value subjects. In December 2021 we announced that the premium will increase by 50% in the 2022-23 financial year to £600 per student per year.

For adults we are introducing of Higher Technical Qualifications, approved through a new opt-in national approvals process as meeting employers’ skills needs. The first of these newly approved qualifications will be available for teaching from September 2022. This will be supported by the new £18 million Higher Technical Education Provider Growth Fund and the investment of up to £290 million to establish a comprehensive network of Institutes of Technology across England.