From education to employment

National celebration of vocational qualifications launched

Impact of vocational awards recognised.

Vocational qualifications such as Apprenticeships, NVQs and City & Guilds are to receive their own day of recognition this summer. VQ Day will celebrate the achievements and successes of the 17 million people in the UK who hold a vocational qualification.
Educational foundation Edge are today unveiling plans for VQ Day which will take place on 23rd July. New research shows that 38 per cent of the population have a vocational qualification compared to 26 per cent with a degree and 32 per cent with an A-Level / Higher.
Despite the proliferation of vocational qualifications, prejudice against them continues, with less than half (44 per cent) of the population agreeing that vocational qualifications are as important as A-Levels. It is for this reason that Edge are launching the VQ Day, which is supported by the wider education community including exam boards, employers’ organisations, the Association of Colleges and the Association of Learning Providers.
Andy Powell, CEO of Edge hopes that the day will raise public awareness about the value of vocational qualifications: “Every year millions of people across the country study for and gain a vocational qualification, leading to further vocational study or university, better jobs and enhanced skills. However, despite these clear benefits, vocational qualifications sadly do not enjoy the prestige of their more academic counterparts. The launch of VQ Day is just one step in starting to put this right.”
VQ Day itself will be marked by a national event in London, as well as regional events around the country. An action pack is available for colleges and learning providers to download in order for them to hold their own VQ Day celebrations. The Day will also see the publication of a report into the vocational qualifications landscape, which aims to be the first vocational ‘census’.
A roll call of vocational success has been established at for past and present vocational learners to log on and add their name to the list. Visitors to the website can also vote for their Celebrity VQ Hero 2008. The shortlist of five celebrities, all of whom have made their name after gaining a vocational qualification will be announced shortly.
David Frost, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Celebrating the success of the millions of people who achieve vocational qualifications every year is long overdue. VQs properly prepare people not only for the work they are doing now but also help employees make a contribution to the development of their company.”
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Rosie Spowart

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