School leaver qualifications to be revamped
The Department for Education (DfE) has announced this week that it will be launching proposals to increase the intake and improve the quality of technical and vocational qualifications.
Level four and five qualifications, which sit between level three (A-level) and level six (university degree), are school-leaver qualifications that include certificates and diplomas in higher education and foundation degrees.
The DfE has announced that thousands of these “opaque and misunderstood” qualifications are set to be quality-approved and renamed as higher technical qualifications (HTQs), a decision that looks to ensure that HTQs are regarded as “high-quality and valued alternatives to a traditional academic route”.
Research by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research this year found that people with higher level qualifications in STEM subjects earned as much as £5,000 more a year than people with degrees from most British universities. In other sectors, including business and construction, their earnings were close to those of most graduates.
“But the evidence shows that despite these qualifications putting people in prime position to take advantage of that demand and the opportunities for better wages and prospects, not enough people know about them,” said Damian Hinds, education secretary.
In the UK, only low awareness and complexity in the market”, alongside cultural attitudes.
The government hopes to have the HTQ status established by 2022, when the first cohort studying T-levels—the vocational complement to A-levels—is set to graduate. It is hoped that the new HTQ status, alongside a public awareness campaign, will promote the lesser-known options available to school leavers in the UK.
"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do” — Steve Jobs
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