Qualifications are constantly changing and many employers are left confused about the meaning of some qualification types, grading systems and levels.

There are 9 qualification levels in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. For a full list click here.

GCSE Grades

The Government has introduced new grades for GCSEs in England – replacing current grades A* to G with grades 9 to 1.
Grade 9 is the highest grade and Grade 4 is the benchmark for a pass at GCSE. Read more.

Post GCSE Routes

It is compulsory for young people to be in education or training until the age of 18. There are various routes for young people to follow, whether that’s going to college to do A-Levels or a vocational course like a T-Level, or starting to earn while learning as an apprentice.

If you are interested in offering an apprenticeship or would like to know more, visit Skill Up Somerset for more information

T Levels are a new qualification for students aged 16 to 19 who have finished GCSEs. Each T Level student will completes an industry placement as part of the course, giving them the technical and practical skills needed to be an asset in the workplace. Click here to find out more about T Levels as well as the benefits of hosting an industry placement.

Click here for more information about Post 16 qualifications in our guide >

How may this affect your recruitment practices?

If you currently advertise vacancies with a requirement for a certain grade of GCSE you will need to add the numeric grading to your recruitment materials.

The Government recognises Grade 4 as a ‘standard’ pass and ‘grade 5’ as a strong pass. If your recruitment benchmark is currently set at GCSE grade C, then it would be reasonable to ask for a Grade 4 in the new system. If you wish to raise the bar on your entry requirement then you could ask for a Grade 5.

If you recruit college leavers, there are a range of courses that might suit your recruitment needs including T-Levels. Many of these include placement requirements which can help you identify suitable candidates.

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