Mariane Cavalli, principal and CEO of Warwickshire College, has welcomed the government’s plans for ‘tech levels’, aimed at raising the status of vocational qualifications in England.
Employers and trade associations will be asked to endorse the best occupational qualifications - known as ‘tech levels’ - so young people know which courses have the best job prospects. Courses must be able to lead directly to a job, apprenticeship or further study and be equal in size to an A-level.
Universities, meanwhile, will be asked by exam boards to back the best ‘applied general qualifications’. These vocational qualifications, which are not directly linked to an occupation but provide broader study of a vocational area, will need the explicit backing of three universities and will be equal to half an A-level.
Cavalli said: "I welcome these plans to raise the status of vocational qualifications in England. Creating ‘tech levels’ and giving them the same status as A Levels will provide a boost to the reputation and quality of vocational education, which is vital for the economy.
"Warwickshire College already has outstanding vocational facilities at our six centres, covering a wide range of subjects from horticulture and hairdressing to engineering and business, so we will be well-placed to offer tech levels.
"And as a Gazelle college, we are committed to equipping our students with more than just qualifications, enabling them to develop employability skills and real-world business experience. Tech levels will also involve local employers either through work experience or by helping to design courses or assess students, again something we are already doing through our Gazelle Local initiative.
"These plans are at an early stage, so we will watch with interest as they develop, but they do provide an exciting prospect for students who want to study a vocational course in the future."