Post-16 level 2 and below study and qualifications in England

ASCL response to the government's call for evidence on post-16 level 2 study and below study and qualifications in England.
ASCL welcomes the opportunity to respond to the consultation. We are aware that many of the organisations and agencies with which we work will have replied separately. This response is an attempt to consolidate the views of our members who work in the post-16 sector.

The review of level 2 qualifications and below is important given the consultation on reforms for level 3 and the emphasis placed on the importance of progression from level 2 to level 3. However, level 2 qualifications and below are also important qualifications in their own right, and as a passage to work and work-related activity. These qualifications should not be considered only in relation to the transition to level 3. 

Some industries, such as construction, hairdressing and retail, use level 2 qualifications as the industry standard for some jobs. This important role and value of level 2 qualifications in the workplace and as access to work must not be underestimated by government. 

Our answers to the questions in the consultation are largely supportive of the approach proposed for level two and below qualifications for young people and adults, but we strongly argue that these qualifications are also about more than progression. They provide important qualifications for work and life-skills in general. Qualifications with high levels of enrolment are evidence of high need, and even where qualifications have low or no enrolments, employers in relevant industries must voice their opinions of the value of these qualifications to their industries.

Full response to consultation