Education Secretary Justine Greening will later today confirm a £65 million investment to boost technical education.
In a speech at the British Chambers of Commerce, she is expected to announce a £50 million investment from April 2018 to fund high-quality work placements, which are said to be a key component of the new T Level qualifications and help prepare young people for skilled work
She is also expected to announce a further £15m in funding to contribute to improvements in further education, along with plans to bolster the role of further education commissioner Richard Atkins, giving him responsibility for both FE colleges and sixth-form colleges. Her speech is also expected to include plans for a Department for Education summit with businesses in the autumn to start developing the T level curriculum.
The funding is part of a package of support for implementing T levels which is will eventually rise to £500 million a year.
Ms Greening is expected to say that “a skills revolution for Brexit Britain” is “the real strategy on migration”. “Great companies need great people. And my department has a mission to give our young people the very best start – to become those great people. The introduction of T-Levels will be the next stage in this journey - a gold standard for technical and professional excellence. Offered alongside apprenticeships, they will form the basis of our new technical education system.”
She is expected to add: “Delivering these reforms will be a challenge. I am clear there is only one way to get this right – through a genuine partnership between business, government and education professionals. This means we need a collective plan. One plan. One team.for skills. A skills revolution. A technical education revolution. That is how we meet those challenges – head on. It’s how we build our future.”
Lord David Sainsbury, chair of the Independent Panel on Technical Education, said the introduction of T-levels was an essential reform to technical education. “England must develop world-class technical qualifications that will maintain the confidence of employers not just for a few years, but for decades to come.”
And David Hughes, chief executive of the Association of Colleges, said the introduction of T Levels represented a great opportunity to make a step change in how technical and professional education was viewed in this country. “To achieve that we need the government to consider and develop a picture of the whole system of post 16 skills and the implementation planning in partnership with employers, students, colleges and others. I am pleased that the secretary of state has set that ambition out very clearly - a proper co-creation which meets employer needs as well as supporting more people to succeed in learning, find work and progress through long and fruitful careers."