Commenting on today’s report of the Independent Panel on Technical Education (the Sainsbury Report), Lord Baker, Chair of the Edge Foundation, said:
‘The Sainsbury Report sets out a bold vision for technical education in England.
For far too long, technical education has played second fiddle to the better-known academic path. A big part of the problem is that vocational courses and qualifications are complicated and confusing - there are far, far too many of them. If experts and employers can’t make sense of them, what hope is there for young people and parents?
Yet up till now, we’ve tinkered and tweaked instead of tackling the problem head-on.
Meanwhile, we’ve seen the skills mismatch go from bad to worse. Businesses are crying out for technical and practical skills. Every survey tells the same story - we desperately need people with the skills to deliver economic growth and prosperity.
Thanks to Lord Sainsbury and his colleagues, we now have a plan of action.
There’ll be fifteen simple routes, ranging from construction to digital, and from social care to catering and hospitality.
There’ll be fewer qualifications, aligned with apprenticeships and developed by employers.
There’ll be opportunities to move between the academic and technical routes - in both directions - and study for professional qualifications and degrees.
At last, we’ll have a technical education system that equals the best in the world.
I congratulate David Sainsbury and his team of experts. They have produced an outstanding report.
It will take time to implement such far-reaching ideas but the sooner we start, the sooner we can deliver high quality technical education for young people, adults, employers and the whole country.’