Other popular qualifications such as BTECs, City and Guilds and OCR Nationals

Where a young person wants to learn more about a particular job or area of work, they could choose to study for a BTEC, City and Guilds or OCR National. These are known as vocational or work-related qualifications.


BTECs, City and Guilds and OCR Nationals are particular types of work-related qualifications, which are valued and recognised by employers.

They have been designed in collaboration with industry, so they can equip a young person with the skills and knowledge that employers are looking for.

BTECs, City and Guilds and OCR Nationals are available in a wide range of subjects, including art and design, business, health and social care, information technology, media, public services, science, sport and more.

BTECs, City and Guilds and OCR Nationals can lead to a job or further study. For example, young people could progress from a qualification at one level to higher levels in the same or related area of study. This could eventually lead to professional qualifications or act as a route into higher education, such as taking Higher National Certificates and Higher National Diplomas (HNC or HND).

Proposed changes to qualifications

The Technical and Further Education Bill proposals have been published. 

Both the House of Commons and the House of Lords have agreed on the text of the Technical and Further Education Bill, which relates to provisions for technical and further education. The bill received Royal Assent, becoming an Act of Parliament (law), on 27 April 2017.

The bill builds upon measures set out in the government's post-16 skills plan (opens in a new window), developed in response to an independent report from an expert panel chaired by Lord Sainsbury. It includes the proposal to extend the role of the Institute for Apprenticeships to cover technical education. This move will mean the institute, which was set up to be the ultimate decision maker for approving apprenticeship standards, will now ensure that all technical training available to young people and adults is of the highest quality and based on the needs of employers.

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