Jacob Rees-Mogg MP took part in a special meeting with Bath College representatives recently to hear the positive impact BTECs and Applied General qualifications have on the life chances of young people and adults in Somerset after the government announced it is considering dropping the qualifications.

The meeting was attended by leaders from Bath College, including Head of Creative Arts and Enterprise, Jon Domaille and Music Performance Learning Coordinator, Tim Goode.

A significant amount of learners at Bath College are currently studying for BTEC and Applied Generals qualifications which are a mixed part-vocational part-academic qualification that offers an alternative, less academic focused 16 – 19 education than A Levels.

BTECs are equivalent to A Levels and are taken by young people and adults across the country who want academic qualifications as well as preparation for the workplace and employment. The government is considering withdrawing funding from August 2020 despite the fact 90% of BTEC students are employed full-time after university graduation.

Jon Domaille, Head of Creative Arts and Enterprise at Bath College, said “I am completely open and willing to being held accountable to ensuring our provision meets the needs of local employers and industry and wholly understand the need to work closely with employers in the provision of quality, vocational training whilst meeting local needs and employment priorities.  I know this to be a value that Bath College holds dear, as do many other colleges across the country.

“We do though, truly believe that the provision of choice for learners at such an early age in their careers is vital, and Applied General qualification still have a part to play in providing learners with choice, freedom and flexibility to discover their own pathway in this ever changing world,” he said.