City & Guilds responds to Tech Level announcement
Kirstie Donnelly shares her thoughts on the Government's Tech Levels
20 December 2013
The Government has announced the creation of 142 new Tech Levels, and a number of City & Guilds Level 3 qualifications have been approved for meeting the required criteria.
High-quality vocational qualifications are essential to developing the UK’s future workforce and filling the ever-increasing skills gaps. Through our work with business, we know that it is essential that employers are actively involved in shaping and designing education and it is encouraging that leading employers have endorsed Tech Levels.
We hope this step will help to change perceptions of vocational qualifications as second to academia and instead show them as rigorous and credible pathways to higher education, apprenticeships or employment. We want to see Government applying this approach for students of all ages, including at Level 2.
However, while this is certainly a positive step forward, the issue is not simply qualifications; it’s about ensuring we equip young people with the right attitudes for the workplace. Our recent report, ‘Making Education Work’ highlighted that 80% of employers think work experience is essential to ensuring young people are ready to work. Yet over 40% of businesses don’t work with local schools or colleges to attract new talent.
Work experience will be central to City & Guilds’ TechBac programme, which will be available from Autumn 2014. The TechBac will be a balanced programme of study aimed at building technical knowledge through Tech Levels, whilst incorporating relevant work-related learning based on input and support from employers. Through Tech Levels and the TechBac young people will finally have a highly-valued, high-quality vocational progression route.
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