From science to sport, engineering to enterprise, OCR is overhauling its post-16 Cambridge Technicals range to create a modern, agile alternative to veteran qualifications, in a bid to tackle the UK’s skills, productivity and income gaps.
OCR will tackle some of the UK’s most acute private and public sector skills shortages with new Level 3 Cambridge Technicals in: Art and Design; Business; Digital Media; Engineering; Health and Social Care; IT; Performing Arts; Science for Technicians; and Sport and Physical Activity.
Charlotte Bosworth, OCR Director of Skills and Employment, said: “While there is much attention in education on inspiring future captains of industry, Nobel Prize winners and elite entrepreneurs, employers told us they need more people like Jade and Joe Public with the core professional and technical skills needed to support business growth, deliver high-quality public services and boost the UK’s productivity.”
She added: “The dangers of the UK’s chronic skills shortage are well-documented and it’s time for a real choice about post-16 education. Existing ‘blockbuster’ qualifications with over 1000 teaching hours can steer 16-year-olds to specialise too early and limit their future options. By contrast, smaller teaching units will enable learners to mix and match core subjects and better prepare them for success at work, in an apprenticeship or at university.”
OCR’s approach means that young people will no longer have to make the stark choice aged 15 or 16 between a purely academic or vocational route. With smaller teaching units, students can combine both as part of a more flexible model welcomed by leading UK employers and universities. All the new range for 2016 are available in 4 sizes, up to a maximum of 720 hours.
The new Level 3 Cambridge Technicals have been developed in partnership with top employers, further education (FE) colleges, universities and industry experts. In pharmaceuticals, the UK’s most successful research-based industry, OCR has worked closely with companies like Astra-Zeneca’s biologics research and development arm, MedImmune, to identify key skills for the Science for Technicians qualification. Similarly, OCR worked with IBM to develop components of its new Cambridge Technicals in IT.
Other employers who have backed the new qualifications include: the Alzheimer’s Society, Anglian Water, Barclays, Bouyges UK, BT, Cisco, Coventry University, Jagex, King’s College NHS Foundation Trust, Mencap, Pfizer, Richer Sounds, Sports Coach UK, Sports Leaders UK and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.
Apart from Art and Design, all new courses will include externally assessed content and comply with the Department for Education’s technical guidance for inclusion on the Key Stage 5 performance tables. They will also be eligible for UCAS points providing a strong base for progression to university.
For more info on the new qualifications, new resources and EXPO training events, visit Cambridge Technicals.