In December 2013, a list of technical level (recognised by employers and higher education institutions EQF level 4 vocational) qualifications was published. In 2014, the updated list was published. The first qualifications will be taught to 16 to 19 year-old students (interested in occupations that require significant theory and technical knowledge) in schools and colleges from September 2014. The first students will acquire technical level qualifications in 2016.
In September 2014, the technical baccalaureate (TechBacc) performance table measure will be introduced. To achieve the TechBacc, students will need to obtain:
- technical level;
- maths qualification (understanding of and ability to apply maths);
- extended project qualification (writing, communication, research, self-discipline and motivation).
Students who achieve the three component qualifications included in the TechBacc will be recognised as having received the highest level of technical training and will be able to enrol at university. By recognising excellence, the measure will provide an incentive for high-value provision and encourage the most able students to study demanding technical programmes.