Headlines: May 29th, 2008

People with vocational qualifications are half as likely to spend a long time looking for work as those with a degree according to a survey published today. The study has been conducted by YouGov, ahead of the first national celebration of vocational qualifications in July. The study shows that holders of vocational qualifications report that they are 23 per cent more likely to feel ready for work from day one compared
with graduates. But the study says it is not a case of getting either a degree or vocational training because 35 per cent of people with degrees told YouGov that they had later gone on to achieve a vocational qualification as well. The findings show other benefits for those who have completed vocational qualifications. More than a quarter said they had received a pay rise as a direct result of their qualification, compared with 13 per cent who received an increase following an academic qualification; 22 per cent said they were more interested in their work, compared to 16 per cent of those returning to academia and 17 per cent said they had been given a promotion after gaining a vocational qualification, compared to 12 per cent of those who returned to the academic route. Figures in the research also show the extent of business investment in staff with almost half of respondents saying their employer had paid for the whole vocational course, A quarter paid for their course themselves and one in five took a publicly funded course. July 23rd has been chosen as VQ Day to celebrate the achievements of people who have gained qualifications. The day will also see the publication of a report into the vocational qualifications landscape as well as events in London and elsewhere. Andy Powell, CEO of Edge, an educational foundation promoting practical learning, said, “It’s clear that vocational qualifications help not just young people, but employees of all ages. From having professional achievements recognised and gaining new talents, which help further a career to improving basic skills, vocational qualifications set people on the path to success. As a nation we need to realise that such qualifications are for the many, not just the disenfranchised.”