Technical education a focus of Spring Budget
The government's decision to invest further in technical education should alleviate the skills crisis faced by the UK's construction sector.
In the Spring Budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond highlighted the need to improve productivity levels and increase competitiveness, especially in a post-Brexit Britain.
As a result, the government is committing an extra £500 million a year to technical education, while new T-Levels (technical qualifications) will be introduced from Autumn 2019. T-Levels will be available to 16-19 year old technical students, equipping them with the skills they need to get jobs within areas of construction or agriculture.
The government will also offer maintenance loans for students in higher-level education doing technical courses.
The UK's construction and infrastructure industries are experiencing a skills shortage. This will likely get worse once the UK leaves the EU.
Though some in the construction industry argue these measures don't go far enough in addressing the skills shortage, most welcomed the government's decision to increase investment in technical education.
The Federation of Master Builders Chief Executive, Brian Berry, said: "T-Levels could be the answer if they genuinely rival A-Levels in the eyes of parents, teachers and young people."
He continued: "UK society as a whole has been guilty of putting too much emphasis on the academic route – this has made it more difficult for vital sectors like construction and house building to attract the talented people we need."
A new approach to vocational and technical education is necessary and long overdue, and the Chancellor's announcements in the Spring Budget are a positive step in the right direction.
For more information on the 2017 Spring Budget, click the link below: