It wasn't too long ago that the educational route to success was unidirectional. The BTEC, launched in 1984, provided a more vocational learning path to traditional qualifications for students that favour a hands-on approach. Equally as respected as the usual route, yet more representative of specific skills and abilities, the BTEC has become increasingly popular amongst young people.
In celebration of the qualification, global media and education group, Pearson Education, have launched a BTEC alumni group this week at a reception in Parliament, showcasing the success and progression of former BTEC students. Successful former students and employers attended the launch, hosted by Barry Sheerman MP, and spoke with MPs, Lords and education supporters about their experiences and the value of BTEC.
Harry Smith, a BTEC alumnus who now works as a successful communications professional and graphic designer has set up a Facebook group for networking amongst former BTEC students.
He said: "I'm really excited about representing the BTEC Alumni. It's a great opportunity to bring people together who have a shared experience, shout from the rooftops about their achievements and inspire others to think about how this qualification could be the right learning path for them. I know I couldn't have got where I am today without my BTEC."
The BTEC alumni group will be championing vocational routes into employment and higher education to ensure the opportunities offered to young people provide them with the chance to demonstrate, and make use of their talents in the most appropriate and relevant way.
With subject choices that range from Performing Arts to Business Studies, the BTEC alumni group charts not only the increasing diversity of study options for young people, but the sustainability that such a qualification can hold within the working environment.
(Pictured far right: David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, meets BTEC alumni reception)
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