"A strong base of highly qualified scientists and a general public who understand science and are well informed about science issues are a priority for the continued success of pharmaceutical research in the UK," said the ABPI's Head of Education, Sarah Jones.
The new diploma system must allow young people to specialise, while also ensuring they have strong basic skills in literacy, numeracy and ICT. The diploma must also make clear to higher education and industry the skills and depth of knowledge attained by individual students at each level of the new system."
The ABPI is encouraged that vocational qualifications and apprenticeships will be recognised with traditional subjects in a diploma structure. The opportunity for the most able students to increase their depth of knowledge and receive recognition for higher levels of achievement is also commendable.
Ensuring that all young people study science to 16, and encouraging the most able to progress further is crucial. The success of the proposed changes will depend on the diploma framework being well understood by employers, flexible enough to suit all learners and of high quality, for both academic and vocational education.
The real challenge will be to provide timely and accurate information for pupils to ensure they choose the right components within the diploma framework. Industry and higher education both have a part to play in supporting schools in advising their pupils.
"The ABPI looks forward to working with the Department for Education and Skills and others to expand on the detail. The success of the pharmaceutical industry in the UK hinges upon thriving science education," said Sarah Jones.
For further information, please contact: ABPI Press Office 020 7747 1410