Education Secretary reiterates importance of technical and digital skills

The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has visited Dudley College of Technology in the West Midlands, which is one of the first institutions to deliver new T Level qualifications next year and one of the largest apprenticeship training providers in the West Midlands.

The visit follows the recent announcement of an additional £400 million for providers of 16-19 education for the year 2020- 21.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: "It is absolutely vital that we continue to grow the nations skills. The £400 million boost we have provided for colleges and sixth forms will help to get even more young people on the path to a rewarding job. This major investment will help make sure colleges, like Dudley, can continue to provide high-quality education and recruit the brilliant teachers and leaders they need."

Williamson also visited Walsall Studio School and Sixth Form, part of the Mercian Multi Academy Trust, which specialises in Business Social Enterprise and a broad range of Creative and Digital disciplines for 14-19 year olds. The school will also be among the first to offer the new T Level in Digital Production, Design and Development from September 2020. During the visit the Education Secretary met with students and staff to discuss how the new qualification will help young people in the West Midlands to secure rewarding, sort-after jobs in the digital sector.

Williamson added: "Digital skills are in high-demand. Our new T Level in Digital Production, Design and Development which will be taught at Walsall Studio School from next September, will make sure more young people can gain the skills and experience they need to get ahead in their careers. It was great to meet students and staff and hear all about how they are ramping up preparations in readiness for the introduction of the new technical qualification next year."

The first three T Levels for Digital, Education and Construction will be taught from September 2020 by further education providers across the country. A further seven will to be taught from 2021, including three in Health and Science, with a further 15 coming on stream from 2022 onwards in sectors such as legal, financial and accounting, engineering and manufacturing, and creative & design.

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