Opinion: the TechBac is back

Opinion: Chris Jones shares his views on why the Government's Technical Baccalaureate Measure should be more ambitious

16 May 2013 / Be the first to comment

In his latest article for FE News, Chris Jones, CEO and Director General of City & Guilds, gives his views on the Government's plans for a Technical Baccalaureate Measure, and explains what City & Guilds is doing in response:

'The Government recently announced plans for its Technical Baccalaureate Measure. Skills Minister, Matthew Hancock promised it will ‘[give] vocational education the high status it deserves – putting it on a par with the academic route’. The announcement shows that we’re moving beyond the obsession with increasing university places to a much needed focus on developing the skills our economy needs to grow. This is a positive sign. However, we believe the Government can be more ambitious.

'Firstly, the Government’s Technical Baccalaureate Measure does not provide a clear, accessible progression route for students. Secondly, whilst we agree that Maths should be integral to the Measure, it should not be a separate qualification. Finally, the Government must directly link its Measure with the requirements of employers.

'That's why City & Guilds’ is refreshing its TechBac qualification. This is being developed in consultation with employers, training providers and young people. It is intended to set young people on the path for a successful career, whether they want to move onto an apprenticeship, university or straight into employment.

'The latest bleak youth unemployment figures should act as a wake-up call to Government. With almost 1 million 16-24 year olds currently unemployed, the time has come for an ambitious approach to vocational qualifications that equips learners with the skills they need to make the transition into the workplace. It’s what young people deserve, what employers need, and what will benefit UK plc and our future growth.' 

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