Backing secured for higher technical qualifications to create skilled workforce

Andrew Hartley

South Yorkshire education providers have been successful in a bid led by The Sheffield College to expand the region’s higher technical qualifications offer.

A regional consortium has secured £1.3m from the Department for Education’s Higher Technical Education Skills Injection Fund.

Overseen by The Sheffield College, the bid also involved Barnsley College, DN Colleges Group, RNN Group and Sheffield Hallam University.

Andrew Hartley, deputy chief executive, The Sheffield College, said: “We are happy to secure funding to provide more higher level technical training opportunities in key industries. 

“Higher level technical skills are vital for the careers of today and tomorrow, and to enable employers in our region to develop and grow.”

Higher technical qualifications (HTQs) are new or existing Level 4 and 5 qualifications. They are being rolled out across a wide range of sectors, including computing, construction and health, in a phased approach.

HTQs combine the academic knowledge of a university level qualification with technical skills applied in the workplace.

Designed with employers, HTQs have been approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.

They are suitable for students progressing from Level 3 qualifications including vocational diplomas, T Levels and advanced apprenticeships.

Consortium members will use the funding to buy new technical equipment, refurbish facilities and raise awareness of HTQs amongst employers and students. 

Key areas for growth in the regional economy include construction, creative and design, digital, engineering and manufacturing, and health and science.