ASCL comment on defunding of further vocational qualifications

Kevin Gilmartin, Post 16 Specialist at the Association of Schools and College Leaders, comments after the government published its latest list of qualifications that will have funding removed.
“This is yet another nail in the coffin for the progression opportunities of our young people. BTECs and other vocational qualifications currently have tens of thousands of enrolments on them, so the obvious question to ask is: ‘What will happen to students in future who would have wanted to enrol on these pathways?’.
“The government seems to believe that these students will seamlessly transfer on to T-levels. This is pie in the sky. While T-levels will work really well for many young people, every student must have an employer willing to offer them a substantial nine-week industry placement. There is absolutely no evidence that the requisite numbers of employers are out there, waiting for this influx of young people. It is incredibly reckless to scrap these other qualifications. The whole process needs slowing down until there is evidence that clearly demonstrates these young people will have a future pathway.”