By Lea Pachta
As a new wave of Diploma programmes prepares to launch, young people opting for the new qualifications can be confident in their future employability. Employers across all sectors have shown enormous support for the qualifications — largely because they have worked with teachers and universities to design and develop them. A 250-strong network of these employers – including some of the most high profile names in UK industry – is actively championing Diplomas.
Led by employers, schools, colleges and universities across the country, Diplomas were introduced to provide young people with more choice and to help them better develop skills they need for further study and employment. The combination of theory and practice has been devised to give all young people a well-rounded and academically robust education, enabling them to experience different styles of learning in different environments. Most importantly, the flexible content and structure of the qualification has been designed so that young people can progress in any way they choose after completion, whether they opt to stay in education or move on to the workplace. To this end, the involvement of employers — over 5,000 of them — and universities has been crucial.
Clive Jones, Chair of GMTV and chair of the group that designed the Creative & Media Diploma, says: “The education system is changing and both young people and employers can see the benefits. Employers are helping to shape these new qualifications, and thousands of us are working with teachers to make them, challenging and relevant. We’re looking forward to recruiting a new generation of young people with the skills and attitudes we need.”
Giants of UK industry who have thrown the considerable weight of their support behind Diplomas include Sir Terry Leahy, CEO of Tesco; Gordon Frazer, Managing Director of Microsoft UK; James Wates, deputy chairman of The Wates Group Ltd; Phil Bentley, Managing Director of British Gas; John King, CEO of House of Fraser; and Will Butler-Adams, Engineering Director, Brompton Bicycles Ltd.
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