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City College Norwich welcomes emphasis on plugging skills gap

PUBLISHED: 13:25 16 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:25 16 July 2020

Aviation engineering students from City College Norwich. Picture: City College Norwich

Aviation engineering students from City College Norwich. Picture: City College Norwich

City College Norwich

Measures to boost the quality and take-up of higher technical education to help plug skill gaps have been welcome by City College Norwich.

City College Norwich principal Corrienne Peasgood. 

Picture: Nick ButcherCity College Norwich principal Corrienne Peasgood. Picture: Nick Butcher

The government has unveiled a package of measures to boost higher technical education including newly approved qualifications from September 2022.

They are also launching a new public awareness campaign in partnership with employers and careers advisers, to showcase opportunities that studying a higher technical qualification can open up.

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A major review last year revealed that higher technical education – technical qualifications like Higher National Certificates and Higher National Diplomas that sit between A Level and degrees – leads to highly skilled, well paid jobs.

City College Norwich offers music production courses with students lots of practical experience of the industry. Picture: City College NorwichCity College Norwich offers music production courses with students lots of practical experience of the industry. Picture: City College Norwich

Despite this, not enough people are studying them leading to skills shortages in sectors like construction, manufacturing and digital.

Corrienne Peasgood, principal at City College Norwich, which has over 11,000 students, including around 1,000 on higher education courses and 1,500 learners on apprenticeships, welcomed the new emphasis on technical qualifications.

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She said: “It is in the area of professional technical skills that many employers in our region face skills gaps, including in key sectors such as construction, health, science, and digital technology.

“Putting employers at the heart of higher technical qualifications, and giving national recognition to them, is an extremely welcome development. It also provides an attractive progression opportunity for our students on the new T-Levels.”

A new vocational qualification for 16-19-year-olds, the T-level, is to be introduced from September with a mixture of classroom learning and on-the-job experience, with a work placement of at least 315 hours.

City College Norwich. Picture: Archant LibraryCity College Norwich. Picture: Archant Library

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Announcing the new measures, education secretary Gavin Williamson said: “For too long we have been training people for the jobs of yesterday instead of the jobs of today and tomorrow.

“Employers are struggling to find the computer programmers, engineers, electricians and technicians they need, and students of all ages are missing out on the high skill, high wage jobs that higher technical education can lead to.

“The measures I have announced will boost the quality and take-up of these qualifications to help plug skill gaps, level up opportunities and support our economic recovery.”

Ms Peasgood added: “In relation to digital skills, this is timely news for our students and employer partners, coming as we prepare to begin construction of our Digi Tech Factory.

“This inspirational new building will bring together all of our digital skills provision into a single, purpose built-space, with industry-standard facilities.”


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