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chancellor announces commitment to vocational training

23 March 2011

The Chancellor has just announced in the 2011 budget that twenty-four new university technical colleges (UTCs) will be funded and there will be 100,000 places in a new work experience scheme over the next few years. In addition 40,000 extra apprenticeships will be funded for young unemployed people.

No doubt the details of these schemes will emerge in due course; however, this is a clear indication of the government’s intention to improve the vocational opportunities out there for the young in a bid to reduce unemployment.

The announcement on UTCs reflects Prof Alison Wolf’s report published earlier this month and recognises the need for children to continue with essential academic subjects such as Maths and English alongside vocational studies. Whilst the announcement is not as ambitious as Lord Baker (who is championing the growth of UTCs on a much larger scale) would have hoped, the topic of UTCs is likely to gain momentum and will feature heavily in the government’s response to Prof Wolf’s report.

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