The Importance of Engineering – One year on

It is now a year since we published our sector review of qualifications and the qualifications system in Engineering, Advanced Manufacturing and Energy: The Importance of Engineering.

Since then, we have been working with awarding bodies and wider stakeholders to implement the actions designed to address the issues raised by the Review.

 The following table summarises the progress we have made so far against some of the main actions:

Action

Progress

We will recommend to the IMI and City & Guilds that they update the content of their level two and three light vehicle maintenance and repair qualifications to ensure that they include current and relevant content

Following the publication of the updated National Occupational Standards for electric vehicle and automotive earlier this year, IMI and City & Guilds have reviewed their light vehicle maintenance and repair qualifications to ensure the content is up to date.

 

IMI plan to introduce new light vehicle maintenance and repair qualifications which reflect the updated standards in time for first teaching in September 2022.

 

City & Guilds will be making their new light vehicle maintenance qualifications available to centres from January 2022. Learning providers in Wales will have until May 2022 to transition from the legacy to the new provision.

 

Preparation and on-boarding activities to get centres ready to deliver the new qualifications will take place during the academic year 2021/22.

 

Having successfully applied for our Welsh Language Support Grant this year, City & Guilds will be making several parts of their new light vehicle maintenance and repair qualification provision available through the medium of Welsh. This includes qualification handbooks, assessment packs and learning resources.

We will recommend to EAL and City & Guilds that they review the content of the Level 3 NVQ Extended Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering to ensure that the content is relevant to commercial aircraft.

Enginuity, the sector body for Engineering, have reviewed and published revised National Occupational Standards for Aeronautical Engineering. EAL have mapped their NVQ Aeronautical Engineering qualification provision to the new standards and are planning to launch an updated Level 3 Extended Diploma in December 2021.

We will:

• recommend to EAL that they change the age range of the Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Performing Engineering Operations (Level 2 PEO) qualification so that it is only available for learners over the age of 16; and

• encourage EAL and other awarding bodies to make available an appropriate practical qualification for secondary schools who are currently offering the Level 2 PEO to learners under 16.

EAL have undertaken extensive engagement with centres in Wales over the past year to ensure plans to develop a pre-16 practical level 2 qualification meet the needs of stakeholders. The new qualification will be entitled the EAL Level 2 Diploma in Practical Engineering and will be available for first teaching from September 2022.

EAL are currently undertaking final quality checks on the qualification and all materials including learner and delivery packs will be available to centres at the end of 2021. Additionally, all materials including the qualification manual, delivery and learner packs, and the unit content will be available in Welsh in the Spring of 2022.

In the next Qualified for the Future consultation, we will:

• include a proposal for a new GCSE in Engineering and Manufacturing to be included in the future range of qualifications for 16-year-olds in Wales.

 

As part of our Qualified for the Future programme of work, we will:

• keep under review the range of engineering-related qualifications for 16-year-olds to support the new Curriculum for Wales.

 

On 14 October, we published our decisions report Qualified for the Future: The right choice for Wales which sets out the range of GCSEs we will develop to support the new Curriculum for Wales. This confirmed our plans to develop a new GCSE in Engineering and Manufacturing. This decision is based on extensive consultation with learners, parents, teachers, lecturers, and employers in Wales where 66% supported our proposal to develop a new GCSE in this subject.

 

We will be working with a range of stakeholders over the next year to develop minimum qualification requirements for this new GCSE and will share further details as they become available.

We will introduce a strengthened approach to reviewing any engineering related qualifications in sector subject area 4 that awarding bodies submit for new or extended designation

In May 2021, we introduced a strengthened Designation process for qualifications in sector subject area 4 (engineering and manufacturing technologies). Awarding bodies who wish to make new or updated qualifications available in this area must now submit additional evidence to show that:

  • the subject content is up to date,
  • the qualification meets the needs of learners and industry in Wales and,
  • the assessment balances the requirements for validity, reliability and manageability.

 

For further information on these requirements, please see our Awarding Body Guide to Designation

We will continue to prioritise, for our Welsh Language Support Grant, qualifications in full time programmes of learning for learners aged 14-19 and apprenticeships, and will continue to encourage awarding bodies who develop new or replacement qualifications in the sector to apply for this grant.

We have worked with the awarding bodies linked to the actions from the review and were pleased to receive applications for grant funding to translate the new suite of light vehicle maintenance and repair qualifications offered by City & Guilds and the new Level 2 Diploma in Practical Engineering offered by EAL.

 

We will continue to engage with awarding bodies to further promote and encourage them to apply for funding to make their qualifications available bilingually to learners in Wales.

If you have any questions about our work in this area, please contact enquiries@qualificationswales.org.