14th July 2020

EPI response to government plans for higher technical education

In a consultation response published today, the government has set out its plans for reforming level 4 and 5 higher technical qualifications (those that sit above A levels and T levels, and below degree level). 

Responding to the announcement on reforms to qualifications, David Robinson, Director of Post-16 and Skills at the Education Policy Institute (EPI), said:

Now more than ever, we need high-quality upper technical qualifications to give young people the specialist skills increasingly demanded by employers.

Higher technical qualifications have long been undervalued, so the government’s ambition of developing these qualifications is welcome. Robust measures to ensure the quality of higher technical qualifications will prove important, as will efforts to raise their standing and accessibility.

Aspirations to have world-class technical education provision are encouraging. But given England has historically funded technical education substantially less than high performing countries, major reforms must also be backed up by the appropriate level of resources. In particular, the government must provide a long-term financial settlement to the further education sector if it is to realise its bold ambitions.