Newly introduced in 2014, the TechBac are practical, vocational, courses run by the City and Guilds aimed at 16-19-year-olds wanting technical qualifications and what are known as soft skills. Soft skills are skills that mean an applicant has the ability to fit into the work-place, they are able to communicate effectively, work as a team, be adaptable, willing, a good observer and able to take and react to constructive criticism. TechBac students are recognised by employers as being work ready making them eminently employable and likely to be snapped up and working as soon as they finish their course.
When recently asked Sheryl Sandberg said the most important characteristic that she looked for in an employee was:
"Someone who takes feedback well. Because people who can take feedback well are people who can learn and grow quickly."
TechBac courses are designed by educators in collaboration with businesses to ensure that they suit the needs of today's labour force and provide students with high level of competency and training.
Each course has to be recognised by the support of a National professional body or experts within their field. Examples of these organisations supporting the TechBac are the RSPCA, Microsoft and Bosch.
TechBac courses are measured in hours. Level 2 TechBacs can cover 360 hours of learning whilst an Advanced Technical Extended Diploma will take 1080 hours.
Funding for eligible 16- 19 years and students with learning difficulties aged over 25 years is free. Over 19 years, funding can be applied for.
The TechBac qualification is designed to be equal to Key Stage 5 but focus on technical subjects. An Advanced Technical Extended Diploma is equivalent to 3 A*s at A Level. Students who achieve a TechBac have a Level 3 qualification and can consider FE if they choose not to go straight into the workplace or complete an apprenticeship training program.
Prerequisites for application
To qualify for the Tech Bac students, need to complete Level 3, plus a Level 3 maths qualification and to submit an extended project qualification (EPQ).