Vocational Education: School Leaving

Department for Education written question – answered on 20th January 2023.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement), Shadow Minister (Education) (Schools)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to improve vocational and technical skills among school leavers.

Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Minister of State (Education)

The department is reforming technical education in England to ensure that all post-16 students have access to high quality vocational and technical options that support progression and meet employer needs. We are putting employers at the heart of the skills system and boosting the quality of qualifications on offer by basing them on employer-led occupational standards, so that all students leave education with the skills most needed by industry.

Our reforms include the introduction of T Levels, which are a substantial and rigorous qualification that are focused on high quality learning. T Levels also include an industry placement element of around nine weeks. They provide the knowledge and experience needed for apprenticeships, skilled employment and further study, including higher education or higher technical education. The department will have 23 T Levels available from 2023 and the major providers of vocational education are already fully engaged with T Level planning and delivery, with over 200 schools either planning or already offering T Levels. We are working closely with employers and employer groups nationally to build their awareness about T Levels and the importance of vocational education and to encourage them to offer industry placements.

The department is also reforming higher technical education so that it provides a high quality progression option for school leavers. Central to these reforms is the introduction of Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs) that are approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education as providing the skills demanded in the workplace by employers. We are building awareness of HTQs through the introduction of the HTQ brand, a skills communication campaign targeted at young people, adults and employers, as well as by improving information, advice and guidance. The first HTQs, in digital, started being taught in September 2022, and there are over 70 providers able to deliver them. Further HTQs in construction, and health and science will be available from September 2023. All fifteen occupational routes are due to be rolled out by 2025, where relevant occupational standards are available.

Apprenticeships are a core part of the government’s skills agenda, helping to drive economic growth by improving the skills pipeline. They give employees high-quality, hands-on training to start and progress in work. They give employers the skills they need to grow, helping them fill their vacancies and train their workforces to address industry skills gaps. Apprenticeships offer a high quality route into more than 650 occupations, from entry-level to expert roles, spanning levels 2 to 7. To support more employers across the country to access them, we are increasing funding for apprenticeships in England to £2.7 billion by the 2024/25 financial year.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.