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AoC responds to higher level technical education review

20th May 2019

The Department for Education has announced that it'll be carrying out a review into higher level technical education, with a particular focus on Level 4 and 5 technical qualifications. In response, David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “This review into higher level technical education is long overdue because it addresses a long term, structural problem within our education system. The OECD and many others have repeatedly highlighted the very low numbers of people in this area compared to other countries. In part that is an outcome of our relatively high numbers taking full degrees (at Level 6) and in part the lack of opportunities for people of working age to retrain and upgrade their skills. “If our economy is to be strong, we will need to find way to fund and provide more options for young people and adults wishing to retrain. Brexit makes this more urgent but even if this wasn't happening, the labour market changes being driven by new technology and automation requires a new culture and approach. For young people, we need to provide routes into high skilled work that don't involve full-time residential degree courses costing more than £50,000 – colleges have an important role to play here. For adults, we need to find flexible ways to help them fit training in with work and life. “I am also keen that the review examines the employer responsibilities because any solutions will require their investment as well as Government’s. So, it’s a good sign that DfE are carrying out a review and AoC will happily contribute to the analysis and thinking.”