Austen Shakespeare

UK educational qualifications set for overhaul by government

Thousands of qualifications are set to be transformed so that more people can gain the skills employers need and progress into work.

A consultation has been launched today seeking views on plans to reform post-16 qualifications at Level 2 and below so everyone has access to high-quality options that will lead to good outcomes whether that is going on to further study or into a job.

Qualifications will be streamlined and strengthened so that young people and adults have a clearer choice of options available to them and can be confident that they will set them on a path to a rewarding career.

Employers will play a key role by setting standards that will define the core knowledge, skills and behaviours expected for all technical qualifications at Level 2, so they deliver the skilled workforce businesses and the economy need to thrive.

Students from disadvantaged backgrounds or with special educational needs or disabilities, who are more likely to take these qualifications, will also benefit from higher-quality courses that provide the support they need to fulfil their potential, and help open the door to opportunities to progress.

Minister for Skills Alex Burghart said: “We are delivering qualifications designed with employers that give students the skills the economy needs. The consultation we are launching today is the next step in making that change a reality.

“We are already rolling out T Levels and reviewing thousands of technical qualifications to make sure they are fit for purpose. We want to make sure all qualifications are high-quality and help people progress in life and work.”

The current qualifications landscape is confusing with around 8,000 qualifications available at these levels, many of which cover the same or similar subjects.

For example, there are more than 650 building and construction qualifications at these levels, and nearly 560 in health and social care. This can make it difficult for people to identify the right qualifications that will help them to achieve their goals.

In August 2021 the government confirmed that it would remove funding for more than 5,000 qualifications at Level 3 and below, including over 3,000 at Level 2 and below, that had no or low enrolments. Public funding for these qualifications will be removed later this year, making it easier for students to find a high-quality course.

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