Breaking: Government to review higher-level technical education

Breaking: Government to review higher-level technical education

The government will review into higher-level technical education – although it’s not yet clear when this will happen or what it will involve.

The review, which will look at all education at levels four and five,  with a particular focus on technical qualifications, aims to address the needs of learners and employers.

This will include scrutiny of progression from T-levels into work, as well ways higher-level technical qualifications can benefit people already in the workplace who want to upskill or retrain.

Anne Milton, the apprenticeships and skills minister, said the review was the “next logical step” following the apprenticeship reforms and the creation of T-levels.

“High-quality technical education helps young people and adults get into new, fulfilling and better paid careers – that’s good for them and good for our economy,” she said. “This is the way we build a better, higher-skilled workforce.”

Today’s announcement gives little detail about how the review will be carried out, or when it will begin, but it does say that “employers, providers, learners and others with expertise in this area will all feed into this review”.

It will build on previous focus on improving technical education at lower levels.

The government previously announced in November 2015 that it had plans for reforming post-16 skills training, starting with a review by Lord Sainsbury, which looked at lower levels.

In May 2016 FE Week exclusively reported that there would be an academic and vocational divide at 16, with 15 new technical education routes.

Then in July, the government officially responded to the Sainsbury Review and confirmed the plans for 15 routes in a post-16 skills plan, which developed into plans for new T-levels from 2020.

The DfE was reluctant to provide further details on what the latest review will look like.

“The review will consider the supply of, and demand for, high-quality higher-level classroom-based technical education,” said a spokesperson. “More information will be available in due course.”