A new employer-endorsed patisserie and confectionery qualification features in the first Tech Levels, revealed by the government yesterday (16 December).

Matthew Hancock, minister for skills and enterprise, said endorsement from top businesses in the ‘gold-standard qualifications’ would ensure young people knew the vocational qualifications that gave them the best chance of getting good jobs in the global labour market.

Country house hotel Calcot Manor has endorsed the VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Professional Patisserie and Confectionery, while Proctor & Gamble, John Deere and Vauxhall have endorsed other qualifications.

The government said the new Tech Levels form part of its long-term plan for the economy. It unveiled the first tranche of 142 qualifications, each supported by a leading business or trade association, yesterday.

They are Level 3 courses for 16- to 19-year olds – on a par with A levels – and designed to lead to a recognised occupation.

Hancock said: “Our radical reforms are part of our long-term plan for the economy and will mean that, for the first time, young people will know which qualifications are backed by top employers and lead to better employment opportunities.

“Tech Levels and Applied General qualifications will give students the skills so vital to getting on in life, preparing them for employment, training and higher education. This will also help meet the skills gap holding back UK businesses.”