From education to employment

More students top up degree with vocational qualifications

New research released today reveals graduates are increasingly topping up their degrees with vocational qualifications.

The job market in the UK is experiencing its toughest period for decades, and Edge, the independent education foundation, says many graduates are turning to VQs to compete with their peers.

According to Edge, 76 per cent of those surveyed believed a degree was necessary for their chosen career. However, 30 per cent felt let down because their course failed to prepare them adequately for work. Almost a fifth said they regret choosing the university route.

Some 65 per cent of graduates also said it is a good idea for current university students to take up a VQ in additional to their degree.

Andy Powell, chief executive of Edge, said: “Graduates are topping up their degrees with vocational qualifications because the current system is failing to provide the skills and training that graduates need and employers so desperately want.

“There are many paths to success and it’s time that practical training is incorporated into the curriculum at a much earlier stage to ensure young people are enter the working world with the skills they require.”

The findings come two days before VQ Day, which celebrates these qualifications and the many paths to success taken by learners of all ages. Celebrations and events will be held across the nation to help raise the profile, and communicate the value, of VQs to future students and potential employers.

Mr Powell added: “In the current climate, it’s more important than ever that vocational qualifications get the recognition they deserve, to remove once and for all the outdated notion that academic courses are the only way for young people to achieve their aspirations. We are calling on people across the UK to support VQ Day on 24 June 2009, the only official celebration of vocational qualifications.”

(Pictured: Andy Powell, chief executive of Edge)


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