From education to employment

QCA chief warns Diplomas unlikely to fill national skills shortage

The new 14-19 Diploma qualifications will not address the national skills shortage facing the country, according to the views of Ken Boston, Chief Executive of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

Speaking at London’s City University, Mr Boston stressed that although the new qualification will "help to lift the level of education of young people and build human capital, it will not meet job shortages."

Although he felt this year’s intake of 12,000 students was a disappointing figure, he claimed "there is strong evidence to suggest that the Diploma has the support from staff and industry, with a number of FE colleges even looking at branding their own diplomas."

He also warned that it will be important to monitor closely this year’s intake to determine what proportion are progressing from Level 2 to Level 3, and to assess whether Diplomas can reverse the dropout rate in post-16 education.

Refusing to speculate on the Government’s review into A-levels in 2013, Mr Boston, believed that it could be an opportunity to "raise assessment standards of A-levels in line with performance standards." He also believed of a possibility that general qualifications and diplomas may one day come together in the future.

Jason Seebaruth

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