Call for evidence: how can Level 4 and 5 Higher Technical Qualifications be more accessible, flexible and fairly regarded?

The Policy Connect Skills Commission is gathering written evidence for an inquiry into the accessibility, flexibility, and parity of esteem of higher technical education, particularly qualifications at Level 4 and 5.

The Skills Commission has begun an inquiry into higher technical education following its earlier report England’s Skills Puzzle: Piecing together further education, training, and employment.

This comes at a time of significant challenges to our economy and society which affect and are affected by the education and training system.

Complex questions remain on the labour market post-Brexit and the future of work with respect to automation, the transition to net zero, and after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Government have committed to long-term reforms to technical education, with specific aims to promote Level 4 and 5 qualifications as “a high-quality, prestigious and popular choice, which learners could consider alongside other routes such as apprenticeships, traineeships or degrees”.

The problem identified by Government is low and declining uptake of higher technical qualifications in spite of the reportedly high employer demand for workers with skills equivalent to Level 4 and 5qualifications. To confirm this, we are interested in the experiences different economic sectors and regions in England.

A more nuanced understanding of qualifications at Level 4 and 5 is clearly needed to make these once-in-a-generation reforms deliver the impact needed to respond to our challenges with a stronger, better-qualified workforce in good, sustainable jobs.

Read the full call for evidence and respond.