From education to employment

Celebrating vocational learning

It feels like it’s come round very quickly but unbelievably tomorrow is our 6th annual VQ Day and we will once again be celebrating vocational achievement up and down the country. It’s been a really exciting run up to this year’s celebration with hundreds of schools, colleges and learning providers getting involved in a variety of ways to create what will hopefully be our most successful VQ Day to date.

As with every year we have a VQ Learner of the Year awards ceremony to honour those learners who have proved themselves outstanding in the way in which they approach their studies. This year we have introduced a new award to recognise the great lengths employers go to in order to further the learning of their workforce, by encouraging and supporting them through vocational qualifications.  The VQ Learner and Employer of the Year awards will be presented, alongside regional awards, by Skills Minister, Matthew Hancock this evening at Portcullis House. Our thanks go to OCR and City and Guilds for sponsoring the Learner of the Year and Employer of the Year awards respectively.

In April, we launched our digital yearbook which provides vocational learners with a platform to share their vocational experiences and journeys and to encourage others. We’ve seen some really inspirational stories and we can even count some celebrities among our contributors!

As a premier sponsor of The Skills Show, alongside City and Guilds, we have been able to make funding available for schools, colleges and learning providers to put on their own Have a Go activities on VQ Day. These are intended to showcase the skills and talents of their learners in a fun and engaging way and we’re expecting to see some really innovative displays. All the details of this funding can be found on the VQ Day website. What’s exciting about the Have a Go events is that from the hundreds being put on around the country, five will be selected to be given additional funding and repeat their Have a Go on a grander scale at The Skills Show in November!

Also new this year, in a bid to congratulate the thousands of vocational learners in the UK, we have created the opportunity for schools, colleges and learning providers to personalise a page on our website. A link to the page will then be sent out to all their learners on VQ Day with a special message from the Skills Minister, Matthew Hancock, thanking them for all their hard work and the contribution they have made to the country’s economy. If you would like to create a bespoke page and congratulate your learners then please do get in touch and we can guide you through the very simple process.

Here at Edge we passionately believe that there are many paths to success. Our VQ Day celebrations and the hundreds of events and activities taking place across the UK will help ensure that vocational qualifications achieve parity of esteem with their academic counterparts. VQ Day’s overall objective is to celebrate vocational qualifications and congratulate everyone, at every level, of every age across the UK who has gained a vocational qualification. It is events such as VQ Day, Adult Learners’ Week and National Apprenticeship Week that really raise the profile of technical, practical and vocational education and my thanks go to everyone involved in making such events a great success.

Jan Hodges is chief executive of Edge, the independent education foundation dedicated to raising the status of technical, practical and vocational learning


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