The Royal Academy of Engineering welcomes the government’s  announcement  today that it is including the core of the Level 2 14-19 Diploma in Engineering in its list of just five very high quality vocational qualifications to be included in future secondary school Performance Tables, following Professor Alison Wolf’s report. The acknowledgement of this as a rigorous qualification ratifies the position held by The Royal Academy of Engineering and the advocacy of the engineering profession has been a key element in encouraging schools to offer the diploma course.

However, under the new arrangements the Diploma in Engineering will be considered equivalent to only one GCSE, whereas it takes the equivalent of four GCSEs in terms of teaching time.

“This decision is hugely damaging to the prospects for young people. The Diploma in Engineering enjoys widespread support from industry as it directly addresses key areas of skills shortage,” says Professor Matthew Harrison, Director of Education at the Royal Academy of Engineering. “Engineering skills are strategically important for the country, particularly in the current economic climate, and the need to innovate and encourage the development of practical, creative technical skills has never been greater.”

“It is naive to expect young people to spend all day studying for one qualification when in the same study time their friends can achieve four.”

“It is not too late to fix this. It would not require legislation or a penny spent. Simply let the five qualifications identified as meeting the government’s own requirements be recognised for the time they take to study. That is both fair to pupils and takes a deliberate step toward economic recovery.”

Notes for editors

  1. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.

For more information please contact

Jane Sutton or Lesley Paterson at the Royal Academy of Engineering
Tel. 020 7766 0636 or 020 7766 0684;
email: Jane Sutton  or Lesley Paterson