Tech level qualifications announced

New vocational qualifications, dubbed ‘Tech Levels’, have been announced.

The qualifications, which are of equivalent standard to A-levels, are designed to ameliorate teenagers’ work skills. Tech Levels range from motorcycle maintenance to patisserie baking, and each qualification is designed to lead directly into a career path.

This new range of qualifications will be offered at schools and colleges as part of a proposal to give students a knowledge of subjects such as manufacturing, engineering, construction, IT and agriculture.

The 142 Tech Levels will be taught from September 2014, and will be included in new-look school and college tables from 2016. Each one is supported by a trade association or leading business, such as Vauxhall, Arsenal FC and npower.

Matthew Hancock, skills minister, said: “We must be honest with our young people. For too long, too many students have been taking qualifications that do not help them get a job, into training, or to university.”

Professor Alison Wolf, who recently undertook a government-backed report on vocational qualifications, said that she was “delighted” that the government had taken “this major step”.