From education to employment

NVQ students set to reach for the stars

New national recognition for exceptional students

UK Skills and City & Guilds have launched a new nationwide recognition of excellence for NVQ achievers – Star Units.   

Star Units will recognise and award those students and trainees who show exceptional performance, reflecting an additional degree of achievement, application and attitude that is above the norm.   

They have been introduced following a successful two year research and trialling programme run by UK Skills and City & Guilds, and funded by the LSC Coventry and Warwickshire.  During the trial, Star Units were awarded to 19 students working in sectors including catering, hairdressing, motor vehicle construction and customer service.   

Chief Executive of UK Skills, Simon Bartley said: “NVQs are well respected as a good way of showing that a learner has reached a nationally recognised standard of good performance at work.  However, unlike other qualifications such as A Levels and Degree courses, there has never before been a way of recognising excellence.   

“The Leitch Review of Skills identified the need for the UK to have world class skills. But to become world class we need to know and recognise exceptional performance, and this is where Star Units come in. This is a very exciting time for the vocational learning sector. 

“Star Units will also help give parity between academic and vocational qualifications and training.   No longer will academically qualified students be the only ones that get recognised for excellence.”

 Barbara Mitchell, Director of Projects Management at City & Guilds welcomed the launch of Star Units: “City & Guilds is intrinsically interested in recognising success which is why we have supported and invested in Star Units.

“Star Units will recognise the star performers of the workplace.  These are the people who not only perform well at their work but who also go the extra mile and who exhibit personal qualities such as commitment, thoroughness, efficient working and good planning.

 “The two year trial showed us that Star Units give young people an appreciation of what high level skills should mean in the workplace. For the students themselves there is now a way to stand out from the crowd as they develop their career.”

 Star Units will run alongside selected NVQs and recipients will be identified from evidence gathered as part of the normal assessment required for the NVQ.  Currently Star Units are being awarded by City & Guilds but it is hoped that other awarding bodies will become involved over time.


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