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Government Launches New ‘Tech Levels’

The Government has today announced a new range of technical and vocational qualifications that are designed to hold the same status as A-Levels within school league tables.


For qualifications to gain the new ‘tech-level’ designation they will need to have the backing of a professional association or at least five employers from the sector. They must also be designed to be of a similar length to A-Level qualifications and should lead to recognised occupations in fields such as engineering or computing.

Alongside Tech-Levels, the Government will also introduce Applied General Qualifications, which are designed to provide the broader, underpinning knowledge of a technical area and can be seen as equivalent to AS-Levels. These qualifications will need backing from at least three universities to count in performance tables. Both will come into effect in the 2014-15 academic year.

The shake-up comes in response to the Wolf Report, carried out two years ago, which suggested that schools and colleges were putting students through vocational courses solely in order to boost their rankings in school league tables and that many of the courses would be of little to no use in their students’ future career prospects. These changes are therefore designed to raise standards, by ensuring that only courses which have the full backing of their respective industries are included, meaning some 80% of vocational qualifications will be removed from the league tables.

Commenting on the announcement, Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said, ‘High-quality rigorous vocational education is essential to future prosperity and the life chances of millions. Because technical education is so important, it is vital the qualifications young people take are stretching, high-quality and support their aspirations. These reforms…will help people into apprenticeships and jobs.’


For more information, see the Department of Business Innovation and Skills’ official press release here.

Jul 04, 2013 10:33 AM
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