How the UK Plans to Overhaul Technical Education

UK Tech & Education

Prior to his resignation in 2016, Former Minister of State for Skills, Nick Boles, made known plans to overhaul technical education in the UK, both in delivery and priority. Boles' plans include the introduction of new courses in hopes of increasing the technical skill of British workers, citing that Britain "has all the ingredients to compete with other skilled nations", but has yet to implement a truly satisfactory system. Boles believed that the current technical education system does not adequately channel nor mobilise the potential talents of students in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math.

To create a more skilled workforce for the future, the government is looking to renovate their technical education system, which has been referred to as being "outdated". The plan to overhaul the current system looks to introduce 20,000 new courses being offered by 160 organisations, effectively creating 15 established routes into the technology industry. As well, the content for each route will be developed by the employer, creating a specific and streamlined approach for prospective students.

The government aims to collaborate with the education system and technical industry to guarantee that students are learning the correct skills for the roles available and being created. In response to the recent vote to leave the European Union, the UK is prioritising the skills and capabilities of the talent and potential already within the country.

The Post-16 Skills Plan is aimed at being available by 2019 for students who have finished their GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education). Because of the involvement by the technology industry and educational institutions, routes into prospective careers will be provided through various college and work placements, as well as through apprenticeships.

The Technical and Further Education Bill 2016-17 has been introduced into Parliament in order to implement the guidelines set out by the Post-16 Skills Plan. The final reading of the bill took place in the House of Lords on 4 April 2017, and it received Royal Assent on 27 April 2017.