March 16, 2010 12:24 ET

First Election Broadcast Generated by Public Launched

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - March 16, 2010) -

Editors Note: There is a photo and a video associated with this press release.

The people's voice is brought to life through the first ever election broadcast generated completely by the public, unveiled today at the House of Commons.

Independent education foundation Edge has collated public responses through online messages, social media, videos and events over a seven-month campaign which encouraged people to have their say on education.

The campaign makes the case that practical and vocational learning needs to be at the heart of education, alongside academic study, to enable every young person to fulfil their individual talents and have access to many paths to success.

Responding to the broadcast at the Westminster launch event today, secretary of state for children, schools and families Ed Balls MP said: "Vocational qualifications are not second class - they are the key to jobs in the future. Every young person needs the skills and qualifications to give them a path to success and practical and vocational learning needs to be on a par with academic learning."

Commenting for the Conservatives, Nick Gibb MP, shadow minister for schools, said: "We support high quality vocational qualifications, backed by excellent courses and experienced teachers. We're committing to developing University Technical Colleges and more Apprenticeship places in our manifesto."

Also speaking at the event, David Laws MP, Liberal Democrat shadow secretary of state for children, schools and families, said: "I agree with Edge's recommendations and hope to incorporate them in our manifesto. All young people should have many opportunities open to them and providing a high quality vocational education is a vital part of this."

Following the delivery of all responses to the campaign, the broadcast will be seeded through social media, online advertising, through video-on-demand and supported by print adverts and media relations.

The supporting print and online creatives respond to the broadcast and research which shows 78 per cent of the population would like to see more quality practical and vocational learning on offer, by asking politicians "have you heard us?"

Additional research, launched to mark the first showing of the broadcast, demonstrates how important "the three E's" – education, employment, the economy – will be in determining the vote for Britain's first time voters.

Chairman of Edge, Lord Baker, commented: "Edge has provided a platform for the public to have their say via all methods of communication from Twitter to video messages. The outcome is the first ever election broadcast generated completely by the public.

"The time is right for the next Government to make sure the current system helps all young people realise their individual talents. They must be able to recognise the many paths to success that come from a high quality education combining academic, practical and vocational learning."

Edge is inviting the general public teachers, parents and young people, to watch the broadcast ahead of this year's general election at www.edge.co.uk/haveyoursay and to have their say.

Notes to Editors

"78 per cent of the population would like to see…" data from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2019 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 22nd - 24th Sept 2009. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

Data on the three 'E's - The research was conducted by PCP Ltd between 18th February and 1st March 2010. Total sample size was 1537 people aged 18 and over living in England. Responses were obtained online.

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.

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Contact Information

  • Band & Brown Communications
    Sarah Davidson
    020 7419 6950
    Band & Brown Communications
    Andy Wray
    020 7419 6950