Government announces vocational measure

Plans for a new Tech Bacc were announced by the government today.

It will be introduced for courses beginning in September 2014 and be reported for the first time in the college and school sixth-form performance tables in January 2017.

The Tech Bacc will be a performance measure marking achievement by young people aged 16 to 19 in three areas.

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said: “The Tech Bacc will be a mark of achievement for young people who successfully study three key elements — a rigorous high-quality vocational course, maths and literacy.

“We are being clear to our young people about the skills they need to succeed and get good jobs. We want an education system in which everyone can reach their potential.

“Our reforms to post-16 qualifications, including the introduction of the new Tech Bacc will do that.

“They will incentivise the development of high-quality courses and incentivise schools and colleges to offer the courses that get young people on in life.

“We expect all bright students who want to go into technically skilled jobs or apprenticeships to aim for the Tech Bacc.”

A government spokesperson said the TechBacc represented one of the final stages in its work over the past two years to implement the 27 recommendations of Professor Alison Wolf’s review of vocational education. All recommendations have been implemented or are being implemented, they said.

Professor Wolf’s report in 2011 found that “at least 350,000 young people in a given 16-19 cohort are poorly served by current arrangements”.

Her report continued: “Their programmes and experiences fail to promote progression into either stable, paid employment or higher level education and training in a consistent or an effective way.”

Professor Wolf said: “A really good and practical vocational course, allied to strong English and maths, can provide a fantastic start to adult life. I am delighted that the government is recognising this.

“The introduction of the Tech Bacc will encourage colleges and schools to offer a programme that combines all three at a high level, and this is excellent news for vocational education.”