Commenting on the publication of the Sainsbury Review, Rod Bristow said:
"The Government's continuing focus on professional and technical education is welcome. In implementing the recommendations of Lord Sainsbury's report, it is important that the focus is on opening up options for young people, not closing them down.
"At a time when the fastest growing route to university is a combination of academic and technical qualifications, we need to ensure the system has the flexibility to deliver the blend of options that is increasingly popular with students, HE and employers.
"In delivering on this report the government might consider how in Singapore they celebrate a system of bridges and ladders, allowing students to switch from academic to vocational and vice versa, and ensuring that the vocational diploma route keeps options open, allowing entry to university before employment, or into a job directly.
"That is a vision that is within our grasp in the UK if this report is delivered effectively. It is a vision we will continue support at Pearson through our work on BTEC."
Notes to Editors
1 UCAS figures show the fastest growing route to HE is among students combining A Level and BTEC:
2 The most recent CBI Skills survey found that the majority of businesses either prefer recruits to hold a mix of both academic and vocational qualifications (37%), or value academic and vocational qualifications equally (37%) .
3 A report by the SMF think tank, published yesterday, points out the significant growth in technical education among 16 year olds with good GCSEs in the past decade, often in combination with academic qualifications.