McDonald's has won approval to offer courses which could form part of an A-level standard qualification. From this month, McDonald's will be piloting their basic shifts manager course. McDonald's have achieved the standards for awarding accredited qualifications at Level 3 - which is equivalent to A Levels or the specialised diploma.
Meanwhile, from this summer FlyBe will offer courses covering the work of cabin crews, engineers, call centre staff, some of which will reach Level 4 - degree level.
Network Rail will offer courses up to A-level or Diploma standard mainly to their track engineers at first.
Critics complain that the diplomas they see as the answer to the issue are not sufficiently academically rigorous. Just last week, four out of 10 university admissions tutors said they would not accept students who had taken the new diplomas which are being introduced next autumn.