Improve seeks employer input for new diploma

Improve, the food and drink sector skills council, is seeking input from employers as it leads the development of a manufacturing diploma for 14 to 19-year-olds, one of a series of new vocational qualifications planned as part of a reform of the education system.

Working in partnership with the other four sector skills councils representing the wider manufacturing industry, Improve is leading a widespread employer consultation.

As a first step, employers can log onto a dedicated website (www.manufacturingdiploma.co.uk) for the opportunity to have their say and express their views on the content and structure of the diploma. The site will be accessible from 1 July, and feedback will be used in the design of the qualification, ensuring that it delivers relevant skills in response to employer needs.

Jack Matthews, chief executive of Improve, said: "The new diploma will give school pupils an alternative to the traditional academic route of GCSE's and A-levels. It will combine practical work with technical theory, and as it's being designed by employers, will lay an important foundation for a range of initiatives to help close skills gaps and reduce skills shortages."

For further information on the diploma, contact Derek Jones at Improve on 0845 644 0448 or visit www.improveltd.co.uk.