Higher technical qualification reforms introduced in the UK

The UK education secretary has laid out plans to increase the uptake of students through higher technical qualifications reforms.

The move comes amidst a reduction number of students enrolling in these courses due to a drop in their marketability and employability. The reforms will also make Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) evaluate which courses are doing badly and stop their funding in order to improve the quality of higher technical educaiton.

Currently, only about 10 percent of the UK population holds a higher technical qualification. This is in spite of there being over 4000 of such qualifications. Data also shows that almost 40 percent of these higher technical qualifications in the UK has five or fewer students, highlighting a major problem in the uptake of many of these level 4 and level 5 qualifications.

Higher technical qualification reforms

IfATE said that support from the government for the higher education qualifications would only be available for the courses that showed a higher prospect of employability. They would be tailored to meet the job market needs and those that would not qualify to meet the threshold would be abandoned.

The government also indicated its willingness to work closely with Ofsted and the Office for Students in ensuring that higher technical educaiton provided in colleges and universities met the standards. The government would also engage in public awareness for higher educaiton qualifications, to educate the public on the importance of having such a qualification and how they can be helpful in the job market.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson said that the current higher technical qualifications had been training graduates for job skills whose times had already passed. There was a disconnect between what the employers were looking for and what the job market was offering.

He continued by saying that these reforms would correct that and ensure that employers and students are on the same page when it comes to employment. He also said the measures would boost the quality of technical courses, and increase the number of people enrolling.