Written statement to Parliament

Technical and vocational education

This speech was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock’s written ministerial statement on new technical and vocational qualifications

As part of our drive to increase rigour and responsiveness of vocational qualifications, I am confirming today which vocational qualifications for 14- to 19-year-olds have met the standards required to count in the school and college performance tables. The lists of qualifications published today will apply to courses taught from September 2014 for performance tables in 2016 and beyond.

For the first time 16- to 19-year-old students and their parents will be able to see which vocational qualifications are valued by industry and higher education. Two new types of vocational qualification for 16- to 19-year-olds are being introduced.

Tech Levels are large Level 3 qualifications comparable to A levels. They must lead to recognised occupations, for example in engineering, construction, horticulture, information technology, accounting or professional cookery, either directly or through a vocational degree. To count as a Tech Level in the performance tables, a qualification requires clear public support from professional bodies, or 5 employers registered with Companies House.

Applied General qualifications are also Level 3 qualifications, but provide broader study of a vocational area which fulfil entry requirements to a range of HE courses, either in their own right or alongside other Level 3 qualifications. Applied General qualifications need the backing of a minimum of three universities.

Tech Levels and Applied General qualifications will be reported separately in performance tables to other academic Level 3 qualifications including A and AS Levels, the International Baccalaureate and the Pre-U.

The third annual list of 14-16 vocational qualifications is also being published. This includes a wide choice of qualifications including new engineering courses which have been designed by the Royal Academy of Engineering and backed by world-leading businesses like JCB, Rolls-Royce and Siemens.

The details of the qualifications which will count towards the Technical Baccalaureate measure (the Techbacc) announced in April are also being published. TechBacc students will recognise the highest level of technical training achieved by students aged 16-19.

The lists of approved publications will be published at 9.30 am on the GOV.UK website.