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Post-16 Sainsbury Technical Education Plan unveiled by Skills Minister

A major Report into Technical Education by an independent panel, chaired by Lord Sainsbury, has recommended simplifying the current system so technical education is provided through 15 high-quality routes, with standards being set by employers.

In response, Skills Minister Nick Boles has published the ‘Post-16 skills plan’, accepting every one of Lord Sainsbury’s recommendations, while setting out the government’s innovative vision for the future of technical education.

Under the proposals, 16 year-olds will need to choose between an “academic option” – comprising A levels or applied general qualifications leading on to an undergraduate degree – or a new “technical option”.

The Department for Education and the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills are describing the reforms as the most “significant transformation of post-16 education since the introduction of A levels 70 years ago”.

Mr Boles called on employers and training providers to embrace the plans and help turn the country’s highly able young people into the most skilled workforce in the world.

Skills Minister Nick 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.

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

Martin Doel, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges (AoC), said:

“Technical education has for too long been regarded as a poor cousin of academic study. The government’s post-16 skills plan provides a welcome roadmap to redressing this long-standing anomaly.

“There is still much detail to be worked through, however, and we look forward to working with the government and the new Institute of Apprenticeships and Technical Education to develop the new system most effectively.”

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