The British Chambers of Commerce has today hosted a summit on education and skills to debate how we can best equip our young people with the relevant skills needed by business today and in the future.

Speakers at the summit included Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls, and BCC Director-General, David Frost. In his speech Mr Balls told business leaders from across the UK that Diplomas, sitting alongside the A-level, will offer students and businesses a real opportunity to meet their own needs and those of the wider economy.

In a joint statement, Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families and, David Frost, Director-General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

"We believe that all Diplomas represent a once in a generation opportunity to ensure employers and students receive the skills they need to meet the challenges of the future.

"The Diplomas in Science, Languages and Humanities will reinvigorate learning, attracting young people to these key areas in our economy.

"Over the next few years Diplomas will be studied alongside GCSEs and A-levels in our schools and colleges.

"The employers gathered here today for the British Chambers of Commerce skills summit know and understand the A-level. They value the contribution it makes for businesses. This will continue both within and alongside the Diplomas."