§ 14. Mr. Chaytor
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on vocational GCSEs. 
§ Mr. Wicks
Vocational GCSEs will be introduced in September 2002. They are part of our programme to improve work-related opportunities for 14 to 16-year-olds, so that those who want to can then go on to apprenticeships. The new system will raise the status of vocational study and bring schools, colleges and employers closer together.
§ 21. Joan Ruddock
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the development of a qualifications ladder of vocational learning. 
§ Mr. Wicks
The vocational ladder will offer young people wanting to follow programmes of vocational study a clear set of steps that will allow them to progress to further and higher study, as well a being relevant to work. We have introduced vocational A levels, are reforming and extending Modern Apprenticeships and are introducing Foundation Degrees. The new vocational GCSEs, to be available from September 2002, will provide a qualification of the same standard as academic GCSEs.