Last week, Michael Gove announced a new vocational education performance measure for young people aged 16 to 19 as an alternative A-level. The new Technical Baccalaureate, or 'Tech Bacc', will combine new and existing qualifications to form the programme which is aimed at the 50% of school-leavers in the UK who do not go on to university.

Whilst not a qualification in itself, the tech bacc "will be a mark of achievement for young people who successfully study three key elements…" (Matthew Hancock, Skills Minister). It will be "on par" with A-levels, and offers those aspiring to a vocational career "a first class alternative to the more traditional A-level route".

The measure, to be counted in school and college league tables from 2017, will consist of three strands:

  1. A high-quality Level 3 vocational qualification.
  2. A Level 3 “core maths” qualification, including AS level maths.
  3. An extended project which will develop and test students’ skills in extended writing, communication, research, and self-discipline and self-motivation.

Reading UTC, a Microsoft sponsored technical college, will be the first institution to deliver this once it opens in September 2014, and are working to use ITA modules within the qualification.

For more information on the tech bacc, check out the DfE's press release.