From education to employment

New City & Guilds Rich List Shows Vocational Qualifications Pay

“Want to be a millionaire? Then follow in the footsteps of successful people like Jamie Oliver and Karen Millen by studying for vocational qualifications”.

This is the message being promoted by City & Guilds this week as they publish their “Vocational Rich List” for 2005.

The list features men and women who have made their fortunes after gaining vocational qualifications at a young age. Number one on the list for the third year running is John Caudwell, the Staffordshire-based Phones4U telecoms magnate, who has an estimated fortune of £1.28 billion. Along with Jamie Oliver, other celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsey and Gary Rhodes take several of the top spots.

Decision Time!

As students up and down the country collect their exam results this week, many are making decisions about the next step to take. Large numbers are apparently turning their backs on traditional classroom-based academic qualifications and electing to pursue Apprenticeships instead. Those who go for the vocational option will join the 255,000 young people already undertaking Apprenticeships in the UK.

According to Steve Palmer, executive director of the Learning and skills Council (LSC) in Lancashire: “Apprenticeships offer school leavers the opportunity to develop skills that are valued and in demand in the workplace. Research shows that UK employers rank Apprenticeships top of their wish list for staff, above a university degree.”

The rich list is an added incentive to go down the vocational road. Of course only a tiny minority of Apprentices will actually go on to amass colossal personal fortunes, but as they say: “you”ve got to be in it to win it”.

Joe Paget

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