Mike Tomlinson’s proposed reforms of the 14-19 education system have the potential to address skills shortages, to the benefit of both students and employers, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
The Tomlinson report advocates the introduction of a four-level diploma with a core based on English and maths – the skills that businesses say need the greatest improvement among school leavers.
The plans would mean less coursework and fewer exams, as well as routes into vocational training being clarified and simplified.
Victoria Gill, learning, training and development adviser at the CIPD, said: “The proposal to strengthen the vocational qualification system and include more ’employability’-related learning is an important step forward.
“Placing a greater focus on both basic skills and efforts to stretch more able students will be welcomed by our members, who report increasing skills shortages.”
The emphasis on the needs of the individual learner that lies at the heart of these proposed reforms is an extremely positive step, according to Gill.
“Only by allowing learning to continue, with progression available at different stages in an individual’s career and life development, will we be able to continue to close the skills gap,” she said.
“If these proposals are accepted, the focus must remain making the new system clear, credible and relevant for those using qualifications as criteria, and those entering the system.”