By Max Clarke

David Willetts today welcomed a new BTEC degree to deliver advanced skills for economic growth, claiming that the 'new qualification is an extra rung on the ladder of opportunity' .

Responding to the announcement that Pearson, the leading education company, will create a new degree-level BTEC, Mr Willetts said:

“BTECs that are equivalent to GCSEs and A levels lead to higher earnings because employers respect them. But students cannot currently study BTECs at a higher level.

“So I am delighted that, after discussions with Pearson, this will now change. There will be a new rung on the ladder of opportunity. Further education colleges, universities and other training providers will be able to offer this tried-and-tested qualification at a higher level for the first time. Students, employers and the economy all stand to benefit.

“In the forthcoming higher education White Paper, we want to make it easier to award new high-quality and affordable degrees like BTECs. This is the key to extending opportunity, improving social mobility and raising skills.”