Bury North MP James Frith has voiced serious concerns about the Government’s ability to deliver the first wave of T-Levels – new two-year technical qualifications set to be introduced in 2020 for 16-year olds – echoing the concerns of industry bodies and leading education organisations.
At a recent meeting of Parliament’s Education Select Committee, James challenged the Secretary of State on his Government’s ability to deliver the new qualifications in time.
In a highly unusual move this month, the civil servant who leads the Department of Education published a Ministerial Direction – a public declaration that officials do not believe a Government Minister’s policy is deliverable under normal circumstances – which requires the Minister to publicly acknowledge the concerns of civil servants before proceeding with a policy.
Meanwhile, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), which represents the construction industry, has warned that completion of a construction T-Level does not mean that a young person will be qualified to work in the construction industry. In a statement, the FMB said that the Government “must be realistic about how much can be achieved in two years of largely college-based learning”.
“The Government is playing fast and loose with our children’s futures. Their chaotic approach to the design and rollout of T-Levels is astonishing. A qualification that celebrates technical skills and a readiness for work is welcome, but at a time when they should be outlining details and clarity for schools, colleges, teachers and most of all students – who will be asked to take these new qualifications 18 months from now – the Government has nothing more to offer than ‘Watch this space’. The Government need to get a grip and listen to the concerns of MPs, civil servants and industry bodies.”