More students opt for vocational qualifications

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 1 April 2000




(2000), "More students opt for vocational qualifications", Education + Training, Vol. 42 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

More students opt for vocational qualifications

Keywords National Vocational Qualifications, Students

A total of 104,108 students achieved General National Vocational Qualifications (GNVQs) in 1999 - up 13 per cent from the year before. The overall pass rate also increased to 55 per cent, from 49.5 per cent in 1998. GNVQs are designed to develop knowledge and skills in broad vocational areas. In addition, students must achieve key skills - application of number, communication and information technology.

More than 10,000 students successfully achieved GNVQs in information technology - a 38 per cent increase on 1998. Patricia Hewitt, Minister for Small Business, commented:

Today's students recognize the importance of IT qualifications. A key factor in achieving the Government's vision for the UK as the best place for electronic commerce by 2002 is improving people's IT knowledge and skills. Qualifications like GNVQs give people a chance of playing a real part in the revolution that is transforming the way we do business in the UK. Business, however, remained the most popular GNVQ choice. Some 32,700 students achieved a business GNVQ - a 10.5 per cent increase on the previous year.

Meanwhile, the Further Education Development Agency has awarded a total £100,000 to national training organizations to boost the links between employers and GNVQ centres in schools and colleges.

The money will help to build links between GNVQ centres in schools and colleges and employers who offer modern apprenticeships and national traineeships. The student will begin a relationship with an employer early in his/her school or college career. When the individual has completed a GNVQ, he/she will move directly on to a national training programme. Chris Hughes, FEDA chief executive, said:

Employers still know too little about GNVQs and sometimes overlook young people who hold them. I am confident that the projects will help to raise the profile of the qualification.

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