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Vocational education confined to the backbenches

Parliamentarians spend four times longer discussing academic education than its vocational counterpart, according to awarding body City & Guilds.

Even though recent figures show the number of people studying vocational qualifications jumped by one million to more than six million last year, the non-academic route is still predominantly confined to the backbenches.

Since the 2010 General Election, for every one minute spent discussing vocational learning Parliamentarians spent four minutes debating the academic route.

The research also found that almost nine in ten Parliamentarians have an academic education, with just 13% having some kind of vocational background.

According to City & Guilds, these findings raise questions about how much policy makers truly understand about the value of vocational education.

Chief executive Chris Jones called for more to be done to ensure the qualifications are given greater Parliamentary Business time.

“Only this will raise awareness of the crucial role that vocational education plays in equipping people with the skills they need to enter employment and fill the ever-growing skills gaps,” he said.

“We also need to encourage more people with backgrounds in vocational education to pursue careers in politics, so that parliamentary debate can more evenly draw on a breadth of experience gained from every type of education route.”

Jason Rainbow

(Pictured: City & Guilds CEO Chris Jones)

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