Towards an Integrated Technical Education, Skills and Work City-Region: Starting the Conversation

Closed 7 Jul 2023

Opened 19 May 2023


Greater Manchester is proposing two equal pathways for young people when they make their GCSE choices – one academic and one focussed on technical, offering a clear pathway into good work.

As part of the Trailblazer Devolution Deal, Greater Manchester will have further oversight of post-16 technical skills, allowing local leaders to work with government in new ways to better shape how the city-region supports the many young people in GM who want to take a technical pathway rather than an academic one and match them into the skilled jobs being created in the local economy.

As part of this, the Mayor has proposed the idea of a Greater Manchester Baccalaureate (MBacc) for technical education, which would sit alongside the existing English Baccalaureate (EBacc) for those wanting to pursue a university education.

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The EBacc is made up of the subjects which are considered essential to many degrees, while the Mbacc is designed to provide a springboard into the technical pathways that maximise their ability to get a good job in the growing success story of the Greater Manchester economy.

“For too long we have ignored the value of technical skills. We want to create equivalent opportunities for our young people in Greater Manchester and ensure they are provided with the tools to achieve their career aspirations, with the idea of an MBacc, developing our GMACS offer and through partnership working with employers.

- Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester

Why your views matter

Currently, almost two-thirds of 16-year olds in Greater Manchester do not pursue or achieve an EBacc and an MBacc is designed to plug that gap.
Under the current system, young people are offered a clear pathway to university through the EBacc at age 14 - a set of subjects opening up opportunities to A Levels, university and employment. There is not, as yet, a comparably clear pathway for young people whose interests, goals and passions might lead to employment via a different route.

The proposal is that by September 2024 the MBacc would guide students towards subjects which will maximise their chances of getting a good job in our vibrant regional economy and help to build essential digital literacy and ‘soft’ skills that are valued by employers. . Young people on the MBacc route could take subjects such as Engineering and creative subjects alongside the core of Maths, English and Computer Science – or an ICT equivalent. We are seeking views on what additional subjects, such as Business Studies, might also be usefully included within the options.

This consultation is aimed at local partners, schools and businesses and aims to gather feedback on the plans and subjects being proposed within the development of the MBacc. 


  • General public


  • Mayor of Greater Manchester