Gold standard qualification

LABOUR wants to introduce a new “gold standard” qualification for non-academic young people as part of a major education shake-up that would see skills funding wrested away from Yorkshire councils and handed directly to private employers.

Ed Miliband will use his annual party conference speech in Manchester this afternoon to unveil plans for a new ‘Tech-Bacc’ qualification for schools and colleges, targeting the “forgotten 50 per cent” of young people who do not go to university.

Labour said the new European-style qualification would offer a “clear passport” for 14-year-olds who do not wish to follow a traditional academic path. The Technical Baccalaureates would involve vocational training and work experience alongside basic English and maths up to the age of 18, and lead directly to an apprenticeship with a private employer.

At the same time, the party said it will hand the Government’s entire £1bn skills and funding budget directly to private companies – allowing them to design and establish their own training courses.