Today GM Business Board member Andy Burnham brought together over 200 employers and educators to unveil proposals for the core subjects of the Greater Manchester Baccalaureate, known as the MBacc – which he describes as “a game-changing new vision for technical education and boosting productivity.”

The MBacc has been designed with employers in the city region to give them a pipeline of suitably qualified school leavers, who from this September will make choices of this route at year 9 and year 11, into seven gateways – each linked to a growing sector in Greater Manchester.

Today’s event was designed to establish how education providers and employers can work better together through workshop sessions and keynote speeches. Establishing direct relations will open up greater opportunties for Greater Manchester’s younger people and provide more clarity and confidence around the MBacc as a viable alternative to University.

GM Business Board Member Cllr Eamonn O’Brien saidThe MBacc is about providing the choice for all of our young people. It’s about providing clarity and equality of choice for everyone. So we can say to the world that in GM we are doing something different: if you’re looking for a place to do business with a great talent pool or to raise a family where kids can do well, it’s Greater Manchester.

Andy Burnham said  “The education system needs to be fixed to give every single person growing up in GM a path into the success story of the city today. All young people deserve a clear and equal path at 14 so they can make their way in the world with hope in their hearts.

“I’m setting the Greater Manchester mission today to create a fair and equal path for all young people. Think of the economic and social benefits. 1 in 5 of our young people say they don’t have hope for the future and that can’t be right.”

The event also announced a unique partnership with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to create an applied computing qualification as one of the new planks of the proposed Greater Manchester curriculum.

The development of the “unique new tech certificate” with the Raspberry Pi Foundation will provide pupils on the MBacc route with a tailored, accessible learning experience, setting them up with digital skills for the workplace.

Andy Burnham saidFor too long the English education system has been built around the needs of just a third of young people who go to university. That means that every year, thousands go through school without a clear path into a good career.

“Our answer is the MBacc – a game-changing new plan for technical education. We’re using our devolved powers to reset the scales and give young people a clear line of sight to good jobs and the steps that will take them there.”

He described the mismatch in skills as “the biggest barrier to future growth” and warned that if his changes aren’t made now it could harm the economy and the life chances of young peo

Lou Cordwell, Chair of Greater Manchester’s Business Board, said the MBacc will play “a crucial role” in shaping a skilled workforce and made a plea to employers to offer young people technical skills and work experience opportunities.



She said “I urge all businesses to join the Employer Supporter Action Network and explore opportunities to engage with the MBacc. By participating, we’re not only securing our future success but also opening doors for the next generation of Greater Manchester’s workforce.” 

There will also be a central application system for industrial placements, developed in partnership with the Careers & Enterprise Company, allowing young people to apply for work experience with employers across the city region – backed up by an additional 1,000 additional T Level industry placements pledged by businesses for those continuing on the technical pathway.

The ambition is to grow this offer for all young people on technical pathways, with thousands more opportunities available by 2030.