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Government announces technical education overhaul

Skills minister Nick Boles has announced an overhaul of the delivery of technical education in the UK, including introducing new courses and a focus on creating skilled workers

An overhaul of the UK’s delivery of technical education will be introduced to create a more skilled workforce in the future, skills minister Nick Boles has announced.

As the result of an independent report into technical education chaired by Lord Sainsbury, the government has developed a Skills Plan to tackle the current education system, which was labelled “outdated”.

To produce a more modern and skilled workforce, the Skills Plan suggests introducing 20,000 new courses provided by 160 organisations which will offer 15 routes into industry. The content for these routes will be developed by employers.

Boles said: “Britain has all the ingredients needed to compete with other skilled nations, but we must create a technical education system that can harness that talent.”

The UK currently has a skills gap, whereby students are leaving education without the skills they need to fill science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) jobs.

Collaboration between the government, the education system and industry has been suggested to ensure young people collect the skills they need for the roles available. It's also hoped it will tackle the complexity of the current system in the UK, where those wanting to be an engineer have 501 possible courses to choose from without knowing whether they will leave equipped for the job.

“This cannot be the government’s job alone; we must work with employers and post-16 providers to unlock the potential in this country,” said Boles.

In light of the vote to leave the European Union, the Stem sector encouraged a focus on ensuring the UK is improving its home-grown talent pipeline.

The Skills Plan’s proposed routes into technical careers will be available from 2019 for students who have finished their GCSEs, and will be provided through a combination of time at college and work placements or apprenticeships.

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