Firms cheer UK qualification for industry skills

BUSINESS groups yesterday welcomed the launch of the new TechBacc performance measure, which the government hopes will become the equivalent of A-levels for students who want to study vocational subjects.

Rather than being an entirely new qualification with its own marking system, the technical baccalaureate will instead act as an overall performance measure for other exams.

The government hopes it will solve the skills shortage in roles such as laboratory assistants, junior accounting positions, and creative industries technicians.

In order to obtain it, young people will have to hold a high-quality vocational qualification, take an AS-level equivalent maths exam, and display their literacy skills by producing an extended project.

“Including the TechBacc in existing league tables will help put vocational subjects on a par with academic A-levels,” said the CBI’s Neil Carberry.

But he warned that the qualification must also instill “the attitudes young people need for the workplace” if it is to be successful.

The TechBacc is due to be introduced from this autumn and will appear in league tables from 2017 onwards.