CIOB supports new ‘rigorous’ technical and vocational qualifications for 14- to 19-year-olds

The Department for Education (DfE) has launched new technical and vocational qualifications and stripped out thousands of poor-quality courses across a wide range of subjects, including construction, planning and the built environment.

The announcement by the government follows on from a review in 2011 by Professor Alison Wolf, which found that thousands of young people were doing vocational courses of little value.

As a result, thousands of qualifications that did not meet the new robust standards have been stripped away. Three new categories of technical and vocational qualifications for 14- to 19-year-olds has been introduced, these include new 'technical certificates', which help 16- to 19-year-olds into skilled trades, 'technical awards' for 14- to 16-year-olds and the A level-equivalent 'tech levels'.

The latest qualifications are approved for teaching from September 2015 and reporting in 2017 performance tables. All the qualifications have been designed with, or approved by, employers.

The CIOB actively contributed to the development of the 14- to 19-standards on which the new qualifications are based.

Commenting on the announcement, Bridget Bartlett, Deputy Chief Executive of the CIOB said: "The development of rigorous vocational qualifications that employers value and respect is incredibly important. Qualifications that meet these new standards will enable pupils to make informed career choices as well as improving their employability skills.

The construction sector is currently facing skills shortages and the emergence of high-quality vocational qualifications in schools will be key to the future success of this economically important global industry."

Further information on the new qualifications and guidance can be found at:


The Chartered Institute of Building is at the heart of a management career in construction.

We are the world's largest and most influential professional body for construction management and leadership.  We have a Royal Charter to promote the science and practice of building and construction for the benefit of society, and we’ve been doing that since 1834. Our members work worldwide in the development, conservation and improvement of the built environment.

We accredit university degrees, educational courses and training. Our professional and vocational qualifications are a mark of the highest levels of competence and professionalism, providing assurance to clients and other professionals procuring built assets.

Further information is available by contacting Saul Townsend on or +44 (0) 1344 630 766.