New “T-Levels” are to be introduced as part of a fresh bid to give technical training equal standing to academic education, the Chancellor has confirmed.
Under the plans more than 13,000 current courses will be replaced with 15 new career-based training routes for teenagers.
But as workforce skills are a devolved policy, Scotland will not benefit from the changes.
Oil and Gas UK welcomed the move yesterday though, saying any work to raise the standards of the next generation of workforce was to be applauded.
Alix Thom, workforce engagement and skills manager at Oil and Gas UK, said: “Skills are a devolved policy area and therefore it is worth noting this does not pertain to Scotland.
“However, any proposal which raise the esteem of technical qualifications and make them more accessible is to be welcomed.”
Introducing the T-Levels during yesterday’s budget, Mr Hammond said: “There is still a lingering doubt about the parity of esteem attaching to technical education pursued through the further education (FE) route.
“Today we end that doubt for good, with the introduction of T-Levels.”
A review published last year concluded that students needed a clearer system of qualifications, Mr Hammond said, with input and recognition from employers and “clear routes into work, more time in the classroom, and good quality work placements”.
The Chancellor told MP: “We will increase by over 50% the number of hours training for 16 to 19-year-old technical students, including a high quality three month work placement for every student, so when they qualify, they are genuinely ’work-ready’.”
“Once this programme is fully rolled out, we will be investing an additional £500m a year in our 16 to 19-year-olds.
“And to encourage and support the best of them to go on to advanced technical study, we will offer maintenance loans for those undertaking higher level technical qualifications at the new Institutes of Technology and National Colleges.”
The new programmes will be introduced from 2019/20.