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Mon October 26 2020

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Only 58 students complete construction diploma

20 Aug 10 Just 58 students have completed the construction diploma, launched amid much fanfare by the previous Labour government as an alternative to A levels.

Just 58 students have completed the construction diploma, launched amid much fanfare by the previous Labour government as an alternative to A levels.

The qualification was one of five diplomas introduced in September 2008, and was backed by the Construction Diploma Employers Group, an organisation which included contractors like Wates and Lovell.

The course combines vocational training with academic study and was intended to act as a bridge between classroom and workplace.

But it appears to have been a flop, with only 58 participants completing the diploma, according to figures published by the Joint Council for Qualifications.

Construction was the least popular of all the five diplomas introduced two years ago, the others being creative and media, engineering, information technology, plus social, health and development. Only 594 diplomas were awarded across all five subjects.

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Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: “The diplomas has lost its way with a tiny number of entries and gender stereotyping evidence in the selection of courses.”

But Nick Gibb, the Schools Minister, said: "There will be a place for the diploma as long as there is demand for it.

"It is for schools, colleges and students to decide whether it is the best qualification for them. That's why we have made it easier for schools and colleges to choose the diplomas they think are right for their students, rather than having to offer them in every subject.

"We want to strengthen vocational education so we will look carefully at how these qualifications are viewed by employers and universities."

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