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Extend technical education reforms to the highest levels of technical qualification

Last updated: 09:09am 10 January 2019

And we will extend our reforms to the highest levels of technical qualification.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.52

Our verdict

The government has pledged to overhaul the existing technical education system to better provide skills required by the country’s employers. This strategy was outlined in the strategy document, Industrial Strategy: building a Britain fit for the future, published in 2017. One part of the process is to “establish new institutes of technology…in every major city in England” to reform and boost technical education up to the highest levels of qualification. It is hoped these institutions will offer students an alternative pathway to a skilled job, alongside more academic routes.

The government has set in motion the process of establishing these institutes of technology. Stage one of the competition for funding to open an institute is complete and 16 potential providers have been invited to progress to stage two. According to the government’s timetable, the new institutes will open in 2019. Their focus will be on plugging a gap in technical education, specifically offering STEM-related courses (science, technology, engineering and maths). Setting up institutes of technology is clearly an attempt to extend reform of technical education to the highest levels of qualification.

There is certainly movement towards delivering on this policy, but until the institutes are open and the courses are in place, it remains ‘in progress’. Watch this space for further developments!

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