Bridging the gap: South Yorkshire’s collaboration to deliver Higher Technical Qualifications

A collaborative agreement has brought together Sheffield Hallam University & four of South Yorkshire's Further Education colleges to make a pivotal move towards addressing regional skills challenges.

The collaboration with Barnsley College, DN Colleges Group, RNN Group, and The Sheffield College, is centred around the delivery of new Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs) and is a testament to a shared commitment to equip learners with the skills demanded by today's job market.

HTQs are new level 4 and 5 qualifications that can follow on from level 3 studies such as A levels or T Levels, and include qualifications like higher national certificates, higher national diplomas, and foundation degrees. They offer a pathway to well-paid, secure, and sustainable employment, catering to both continuing students over 18 and adults looking to retrain or upskill. With the first digital HTQs launched in September 2022 and a full rollout of 15 occupational sectors by 2025, HTQs are set to transform the educational landscape, providing learners with industry-relevant skills and enhancing their employability.

To support this collaborative effort, and the delivery of HTQs, the region has been successful in securing £1.3 million from the Government's Higher Technical Education Skills Injection Fund. Working together on the provision of Higher Technical Qualifications at Level 4 and Level 5 will support the regional pipeline of learners undertaking T Levels and other Level 3 courses into Level 4 and 5 courses and beyond, connecting to developments in the Lifelong Learning Entitlement. It will also maximise the potential to raise the profile of Higher Technical Qualifications on a regional basis, pooling efforts to improve understanding across our communities.

Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs) offer numerous benefits for learners seeking to advance their careers or embark on new pathways. The qualifications are employer-led, ensuring they provide the work-ready skills demanded by industries, and with HTQs being rigorously approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education, learners can be assured of their high quality. These qualifications are eligible for the same student finance as Degree level study, providing an accessible and effective route to acquiring valuable skills and enhancing employability.

Having already been rolled out in stages since 2022, HTQs are already available to study in South Yorkshire. To find out more about what is available within the South Yorkshire College Partnership Group, please visit the links below:

Barnsley College

DN Colleges Group

RNN Group

The Sheffield College