VQ Day

VQ Day

June 23, 2010 03:01 ET

Vocational Qualifications Rise to Help UK Out of Recession

Number of VQs Awarded Each Year Crosses 4 Million Barrier for First Time

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - June 23, 2010) - Over 4 million vocational qualifications (VQs) were awarded last year according to new figures released today to mark VQ Day, the annual nationwide celebration of vocational qualifications.

The overall number of VQs achieved has risen over 11 per cent from last year, according to the VQ Day review of vocational qualifications. Sectors vital to the UK's economic recovery have seen a considerable rise in the number of qualifications awarded. The biggest sector growth area is Science and Maths (33 per cent increase) which provides vital technical skills to ensure the UK is successful in the global marketplace.

The imminent arrival of the Olympics has also impacted sectors with Leisure, Travel and Tourism qualifications increasing by 24 per cent. Meanwhile sectors vital to future economic growth have seen rises, with Engineering and manufacturing qualifications up 21 per cent, Construction up 22 per cent and Business, Administration and Law up 24 per cent.

However, a sector that could see a lack of skilled workers in the future is Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care which has seen the biggest decline in qualifications awarded, with numbers decreasing by 27 per cent.

Lord Baker, Chairman of independent education foundation Edge, which supports VQ Day said: "If the UK is to succeed in the global economy we will need a larger skilled workforce. These VQ increases in our major industries are good news for economic growth in the years to come."

"For three years in a row we have seen a rise in vocational qualifications awarded which is very encouraging. But, we must not be complacent as there is still room for improvement to ensure that all young people have access to the many paths to success available."

Today marks the third annual VQ Day, a nationwide celebration of the people who gain vocational qualifications each year. The Day raises the stature and demonstrates the benefits of practical and vocational qualifications to future learners, employers, opinion formers and the wider public.

Other findings in the report reveal:

  • Higher level VQs are increasing with foundation degrees growing strongly in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 18,850 were awarded across the UK compared to 15,000 the previous year
  • Health, Public Services & Care was the biggest single sector for VQs in the UK in 2008-09, with over a million qualifications achieved
  • Workplace qualifications are also increasing with 959,000 National and Scottish Vocational Qualifications achieved, an increase of over 24% on the previous year

Senior business leaders will today debate the impact and the future of vocational qualifications in the workplace. Discussing the report will be 100 senior executives from Whitbread, McDonalds, Merseytravel and Clugstons Construction amongst others at the annual VQ Day, this year being held at the Royal Horticultural Halls. The day's celebrations will also include the VQ Learner Award ceremony hosted by entertainment icon Arlene Phillips OBE, which will recognise these learners who have achieved vocational excellence. 

For more information about VQ Day, please visit www.vqday.org.

Copies of Vocational Qualifications in the UK; 2010 update 23rd June 2010 are available at www.vqday.org.

Notes to Editors

About Vocational Qualifications in the UK: 2010 update

All statistics quoted in the release are taken from Vocational Qualifications in the UK; 2010 update. A full definition of all vocational qualifications and source materials can be found in the review.

About VQ Day - 23 June 2010

Last year over 4 million people gained a vocational qualification and millions of people will achieve similar success this year. This vocational achievement is celebrated every June on VQ Day, a date fast becoming a fixture in the education calendar.

23 June 2010 is the third VQ Day - a celebration of the people who gain vocational qualifications every year. By working with partner organisations across the UK, VQ Day will raise the stature and demonstrate the benefits of practical and vocational qualifications to future learners, employers, opinion formers and the wider public. For more information visit www.vqday.org.

VQ Day is led by Edge, the independent education foundation, in conjunction with the vocational qualifications community including: the Association of Colleges (AoC), the Association of Learning Providers (ALP), Association of Scotland's Colleges (ASC), Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network (ASDAN), CollegesWales, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (DBIS) Department for Employment and Learning (DELNI), the Federation of Awarding Bodies (FAB), the FE Reputation Strategy Group (FERSG), Hackney Community College, the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), National Training Federation for Wales, Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations (OCR), Ofqual Northern Ireland, Scottish Government, Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), Scottish Training Federation (STF), UKSkills and the Welsh Assembly Government among others.

VQ Day 2010 sponsors include Edexcel (headline sponsor), Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), City & Guilds, EDI, and Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (OFQUAL).

About Edge

Edge is an independent education foundation. It is dedicated to raising the stature of practical and vocational learning, so that all young people have the opportunity to achieve their potential, and the UK's future workforce is equipped with the skills to be successful in the modern economy. Edge believes that 'learning by doing' is as important as academic learning, and that there are many paths to success. For more information visit www.edge.co.uk.

Contact Information

  • For more information on VQ Day:
    Sarah Davidson, Zoe Penn, or Max Wilson
    020 7419 6950


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