Opinion: City & Guilds' response to the Technical Baccalaureate Measure
City & Guilds’ Chris Jones, CEO and Director-General, responds to the Government’s Technical Baccalaureate Measure
22 April 2013
‘City & Guilds supports the Government’s direction of travel with the new Technical Baccalaureate Measure. With youth unemployment back on the rise, it is essential that we provide young people with another option to purely academic education. We need to equip them with both the vocational and rounded skills that employers need.
‘City & Guilds first developed our TechBac offer in 1991. As we’ve previously stated, City & Guilds owns the following registered trademarks: 'TechBac', 'City & Guilds Technical Baccalaureate' and 'City & Guilds Technological Baccalaureate'.
‘We are currently in consultation with employers, training providers and young people to create a refreshed TechBac offer that sets young people on the path for a successful career, whether they want to move onto an apprenticeship, university or employment. Over the last year, we’ve also been working closely with all the stakeholders, including the Government, the Labour Party and the Baker Dearing Trust.
‘We are also building on the heritage of our TechBac from 1991, reflecting the way that young people learn today, by integrating innovative learning technology and creating a system which is scalable and efficient for employers.
‘We currently have people working towards components that will form part of our TechBac offer, such as our new Maths & English qualifications, piloted last year and launched in January 2013. Our new Maths & English qualifications have been developed with employers and can be embedded as part of our wider TechBac offer. Therefore, we do not entirely agree with the Government that a Level 3 in maths should be a separate qualification within its Technical Baccalaureate Measure.
‘Our advice to the Government and others is that maths should be integrated, highly-contextualised and relevant to employer needs. This is what employers have told us they want. However, we’ve built flexibility into our own TechBac model to allow young people to study additional A-Levels and GSCEs if they choose.’
‘The Technical Baccalaureate Measure needs to be part of a connected journey, allowing for young people to start a pre-apprenticeship or traineeship and move onto further study or employment. Therefore, we believe there needs to be a Level 2 TechBac®, allowing for progression, as well as a Level 3.
‘We also want young people to be able to choose progression into higher-level apprenticeships, university or employment, once they’ve achieved their Level 3 TechBac.
‘We wholeheartedly believe that young people need the opportunity to experience the world of work in a meaningful way. In fact, our own TechBac offer already includes the requirement for relevant work experience and a related extended project.
‘City & Guilds believes that we are at a tipping point for vocational skills – and for our economy to start growing again we need to ensure the education system is producing young people with skills that employers need. The City & Guilds’ TechBac offer aims to achieve this by being highly relevant, scalable and accessible.’