Downgrading diploma was a mistake

10th February 2012 at 00:00

We are delighted that the engineering diploma is one of the few diplomas to remain in the list of courses included in the 14-16 performance tables for 2014. However, we cannot agree with the decision to downgrade it to the equivalent of one GCSE.

Engineering remains one of this country's most vibrant sectors and an area in which we lead the world. Of 2.1 million businesses in the UK, 550,000 are engineering businesses employing 5.6 million people - 19 per cent of the workforce. The engineering sector will need 2.2 million skilled employees over the next decade.

The diploma was designed by senior academics and experienced industry engineers and is highly valued by companies and universities alike. It is vital for the competitive future of the engineering industry that the government reconsiders the worth of the engineering diploma and actively supports its promotion.

Robert Robson - principal, Samuel Whitbread Academy; Elizabeth Allen - head, Newstead Wood School for Girls; Martin Bevan - business manager, SMC International Training; and seven other signatories from the education and engineering sectors.

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