In a bid to improve the standing of vocational study, The Department for Education (DfE) has launched new qualifications to replace thousands of poor-quality courses across a wide range of industries.
The government announcement comes after a review in 2011 by Professor Alison Wolf, which found that a significant number of young people were taking vocational courses of little value.
Three new categories of technical and vocational qualifications for 14 to 19 year-olds have been introduced: 'technical certificates', which help 16 to 19 year-olds into skilled trades, 'technical awards' for 14 to 16 year-olds, and the A level-equivalent, 'tech levels'.
The latest qualifications are approved for teaching from September 2015 and reporting in 2017 performance tables.
The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) actively contributed to the development of the new standards.
Commenting on the announcement, Bridget Bartlett, Deputy Chief Executive of the CIOB, said: "The development of rigorous vocational qualifications that employers value and respect is incredibly important. Qualifications that meet these new standards will enable pupils to make informed career choices as well as improving their employability skills."
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