Education and Skills Secretary Alan Johnson and Schools Minister Jim Knight have announced 10,000 places that will be made available for new Diplomas related to building services engineering (BSE).
From September 2008, there will be two types of Diploma for the BSE sector; Engineering, with more than 6,000 places available for the first delivery, and Construction & the Built Environment, with almost 4,000 places.
The new Diplomas will provide young people with industry knowledge and broader experiential learning, resulting in employees whose practical skills and overall business awareness promise greater productivity.
Both Diplomas have been driven by the industry’s skills requirements, developed in conjunction with employers. These new qualifications will ensure students of all abilities have an excellent grasp of English, maths and IT skills, whilst understanding how they relate to industry. Students will learn a range of skills, including practical, design and communications skills, as well as knowledge of health and safety and sustainability. A minimum of 10 days’ work experience will also provide students with an opportunity to apply their knowledge, while individual project work will encourage initiative.
The new Diplomas will allow students to progress to further study, university or work. Students will be able to choose Diplomas alongside GCSEs or A-levels, or in place of them.
Across the five new Diplomas being offered – Construction and the Built Environment; Engineering; Creative and Media; Society and Development, and IT – £90 million of central government funding will be available to help regional consortia to work up the detail of the new qualifications in each area. Ten consortia have been approved to deliver Diplomas in all five subject areas from 2008.
SummitSkills Chief Executive Keith Marshall said: “The early stages of this work have been intense and we have worked hard to ensure that employers’ voices have been heard. We are very pleased with the result.
“We are delighted to hear the announcement of the first consortia to teach the Diplomas and for the project to move into its next key phase. We are looking forward to continuing to work closely with employers and deliverers to ensure that the Diplomas are a success.”