The decision to update the 14-19 Diploma in Engineering has been warmly welcomed by the Royal Academy of Engineering as “excellent news for growth” The announcement was made today (Friday) by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.

The Academy has been tasked with supporting the reworking of the qualification, which it was instrumental in designing and implementing. It will work with the Department for Education and employers to design the Principal Learning element of the Engineering Diploma into four rigorous qualifications, each equivalent to one GCSE.

The Academy will be conducting its work through a series of public seminars where employers, professional bodies, schools, colleges and awarding bodies can explore what counts as a definitive link between vocational education and the labour market, to ensure that these characteristics are prominent in the qualifications submitted to Ofqual in early 2013. The Academy expects to see the updated Diploma in Engineering accredited for inclusion in the 2016 school performance tables.

The Chancellor made the announcement with Skills Minister, Matthew Hancock, while opening the Rolls-Royce apprenticeships academy in Derby.

Dick Olver, Chairman of BAE Systems and Chair of Education for Engineering (E4E), the body which represents the Professional Engineering Community on education and skills policy, said: “The government’s support of the updated Engineering Diploma is excellent news for the growth of the UK economy. This qualification has been developed with employers and provides the knowledge and skills that UK industry needs from its workforce. We need 1.3 million people in science and engineering jobs by 2020 to maintain the economy. To meet this demand we need many more young people to take up engineering in schools, in colleges and at university to ensure the UK economy grows through engineering innovation and engineering excellence.”

Professor Matthew Harrison, Director of Engineering and Education at the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “I believe that the Academy’s detailed work in re -fashioning the Diploma in Engineering is the best way to ensure that it meets Professor Alison Wolf’s aim for the very best vocational education and the qualifications there-in. I share her belief that it is critical that educational institutions maintain links with employers, strengthening the links between vocational education and the labour market.

“The endorsement of Matthew Hancock and the Department for Education demonstrates that something serious and tangible is being done by the government to assure the engineering skills required for sustained economic growth”.

Making the announcement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said: "If Britain is to compete and thrive in the global economy then we must lead the way in science and technology. These new engineering qualifications will give young people the skills that they want, and that businesses need, to be at the forefront of this race."

Minister for Skills, Matthew Hancock, said: "Today's news shows we are serious about backing engineering skills, which are vital for our economy and which set people on a path to prosperity."

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

Sarah Griffiths at The Royal Academy of Engineering Tel. 020 7766 0655