The United Kingdom government has implemented a number of policies to support and promote the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) industry on a local and global level. Ranging from funding to setting standards, these policies are intended to ensure that individuals have access to high-quality training and education that will help them succeed in their chosen field, while also ensuring that employers have access to a skilled and qualified workforce.
- Skills For Jobs
- Apprenticeship Levy
- Qualifications and Standards
- Regulations and Policies You Need to Be Aware Of
Before going into your TVET journey, let’s take a look at some of the policies that are actively affecting the TVET field:
One of the most important policies affecting the TVET industry in the United Kingdom is funding.
The government provides funding for TVET institutions through various programs, such as the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) and the Skills Funding Agency (SFA).
This funding is used to support the development of new courses, the training of teachers, and the purchase of equipment and facilities.
However, the level of funding provided to TVET institutions has been reduced in recent years due to budget cuts, which has led to a decline in the quality and availability of TVET education.
Skills For Jobs
Another important policy is the Skills For Job, which sets out the government’s priorities for skills development in the United Kingdom on lifelong learning.
The agenda seeks to raise workforce employability and productivity levels in order to boost the nation’s competitiveness and productivity.
With the aim of ensuring that people have the skills necessary to secure good jobs and that businesses have access to the skilled workforce they need to grow and thrive, the initiative focuses on providing training and education that is directly relevant to the needs of employers and the labour market.
In addition to adult education, apprenticeships, and vocational education and training, the initiative also includes targeted support for people who are underemployed or in low-paying jobs.
The Apprenticeship Levy is another policy that has had a significant impact on the TVET industry in the UK. The levy, which was introduced in 2017, requires large employers to pay a tax that is used to fund apprenticeships.
The goal of the levy is to increase the number of apprenticeships available to young people and to provide funding for the training of apprentices.
However, the levy has faced criticism for being too complex to administer.
Data from CIPD (2020) shows that the number of apprenticeships starts has been decreasing from 494,900 in 2016/2017 to 322,500 in 2019/2020, signifying that amendments to this particular act might be needed.
Qualifications and Standards
The TVET industry in the United Kingdom is also impacted by policies related to qualifications and standards.
The government sets the standards for vocational qualifications, and TVET institutions are required to adhere to these standards in order to produce world-class skills. The government also sets the qualifications required for teachers working in TVET institutions.
In the UK, awarding organisations are independent companies that may operate internationally.
These awarding organisations are governed by public regulatory organisations called Ofqual, SQA, Qualifications Wales, and CCEA in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
This enables TVET awards to be accepted as a component of national qualifications frameworks, making them transferable and internationally recognised.
Regulations and Policies You Need to Be Aware Of
In the United Kingdom, there are several other laws and regulations related to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) that you should be aware of. These include
- The Education Act 1996
This act sets out the legal framework for education in England and Wales, including vocational education. It establishes the powers and duties of local education authorities and schools in relation to vocational education.
- The Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009
This act established the framework for apprenticeships in England, including the creation of the National Apprenticeship Service, which is responsible for the promotion and funding of apprenticeships.
- The Technical and Further Education Act 2017
This act created the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, which sets standards for apprenticeships and technical education qualifications in England.
- The Equality Act 2010
With ambitions to be more inclusive, this act prohibits discrimination on the grounds of protected characteristics, including age, disability, sex, and race, in relation to education and training, including TVET.
- The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
This act places a duty on employers to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of their employees, including those undertaking apprenticeships or vocational training.
It’s important to note that the laws and regulations related to TVET may change and it would be best to check with the appropriate government agency or organization for the most up-to-date information.
In sum, the TVET industry remains a pivotal tool in producing quality graduates that could help the UK address its skill crisis.
While some policies have been successful in improving TVET education, others have faced challenges. For instance, the Equality Act (2010) has been crucial in ensuring those who are disabled are not left behind in vocational education, as demonstrated by the number of Independent Specialist Colleges (ISC) – TVET organisations that cater to those who require assistance with their learning.
Meanwhile, the Apprenticeship Levy which was reported to be too complex to be administrated coupled with the reduction of funding for TVET, it is expected that there will be more challenges than usual ahead which calls for any lawmaker in place to not only make continuous development of educational policies but also ensure they’re correctly implemented.