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Education in the Media: Tuesday 14 August 2018

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Today’s Education in the media blog details the findings of our review into Level 4-5 qualifications and how they could be the key to unlocking skills demanded by employers.

Level 4 and 5 Review

Today, Tuesday 13 August, we have published the findings of our review into Level 4-5 qualifications. This story was covered by the Daily Mail who exclusively interviewed Skills Minister, Anne Milton.

In the interview, the Skills Minister suggested that Level 4-5 qualifications such as foundation degrees and higher education diplomas provide another valuable option for students to choose from, and can be a quicker and less expensive pathway into exciting careers.

Interim findings from the department’s review of level 4-5 qualifications showed that many employers value vocational qualifications and the skills they can help students to build.

Our research also found studying at these levels can increase earning potential and employability. Students attaining such qualifications by the age of 23 had higher median wages by age 26 and were more likely to be in sustained employment than their peers who achieved a Level 3.

Findings also show that employers value Level 4-5 qualifications in key sectors such as ICT and Engineering, meaning that increased take-up could play an important role in boosting the economy and plugging technical skills gaps.

Learners at this level often study part-time and come from a diverse range of backgrounds, highlighting how studying at this level can improve learning and career opportunities for hundreds of thousands more people across the country.

Currently, only around 7% of people in England aged 18-65 are undertaking Level 4-5 training. This equates to around 200,000 people studying Level 4-5, compared to 2 million studying across Level 3 and Level 6.

The Government is determined to increase participation in further education and training. This is part of the Post-16 Skills Plan and is central to the modern Industrial Strategy. This also includes the introduction of T Levels from 2020 and creating more high quality apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said:

We want everyone to be able to access high quality technical education and training so they can get the skills they need. Having these skills can change people’s lives, leading to a rewarding career and fantastic opportunities.

These early findings show how learning at Level 4 and 5 can benefit people of all ages and a wide variety of backgrounds, whilst helping employers get the skilled workforce they need.

This research will play an important part of our ongoing review of Level 4 and 5 qualifications so we can understand how we can make education at this level work even better for everyone.

Read more about Level 4-5 qualifications here.

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