From education to employment

Forget degrees, train for a trade say parents

Yvonne Kelly

A study released today (22nd April) has found that parents would prefer their children to take a vocational qualification rather than go to university.

The study* has found that there is growing agreement that vocational qualifications are just as useful as university degrees. In fact 48% of people polled said they would prefer their child to get a vocational qualification over going to university. 

Although the study is new, the findings are something that Barking & Dagenham College has always known.  As Yvonne Kelly, Principal and CEO at the College explains: “Vocational qualifications have just as much to offer, if not more, than what people see as the more traditional routes in education.  Vocational qualifications still give students qualifications but more than that they are armed with skills, knowledge, and a better ‘work-ready’ foundation which helps then enter and succeed in today’s job market.”

Indeed, the study also found those polled felt vocational qualifications led to students being more adaptable, pro-active and more technically skilled than university graduates. It also found that vocational qualifications were well respected by respondents and suggested there was now scepticism as to the merits of a university education, with 85% of people believing a vocational qualification is ‘valuable for those seeking a good job’.

Despite the findings, further education continues to receive relatively little attention and less funding that higher education, something that Yvonne would like to see change.  She adds: “Studies like this are great to show how much vocational education has to offer.  The working world is changing, and vocational qualifications can help students enter their chosen careers.  What we need now is to ensure the sector has as much support as is possible, including adequate funding to guarantee that further education providers such as ourselves can continue to deliver what the public want and need to succeed.”

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