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AoC responds to DfE qualification review announcement

10 January 2023

Responding to the DfE's qualification review announcement, Catherine Sezen, AoC Education Director said: “Ultimately colleges will be looking at these reforms and asking if they work for students. We fear curtailing popular qualifications like public services, on which around 15,000 students are currently enrolled, will result in more students not reaching their potential, or worse not engaging in education or training at all.

“While T Levels are a great choice for many students, they are not currently the right fit for everyone. Without alternative qualifications available, more students will struggle to progress and fill jobs in key industries such as health and digital. Industry placements are difficult to facilitate in some job sectors and some parts of the country, and massively ramping up the number of T Level students could result in the collapse of work placements. Having different qualification options for adults and young people will mean colleges have to make difficult decisions about which courses to offer. T Levels are currently just for students aged 16 to 19, so these changes could result in fewer adults participating in further education. All this his is of course comes on top of the challenges colleges face in recruiting skilled staff in many sectors such as Construction and Engineering.

“We would urge the DfE to listen to providers about the needs of students as well as employers and how they can be met and delivered upon.’’