Today VQ Day will be celebrated across the country and many events are planned, ranging from VQ open days to awards ceremonies. The biggest event will take place at in London, which will be hosted by celebrity chef and television presenter James Martin, whose qualification helped lead to his success.
In the last two academic years (2006/07 – 2007/08) more than 2.6 million learners registered for Edexcel vocational qualifications across the globe. These include BTECs, NVQs, Key Skills and Adult Skills. In the UK more than 5,000 centres offered Edexcel vocational qualifications.
Edexcel’s Managing Director, Jerry Jarvis, said:
“Vocational learning is as important as traditional academic learning and we should celebrate the millions of learners who will enter higher education or important job roles, thus contributing to our economy. Vocational learners are ready to enter the job market with the required skills. Edexcel is very proud to be involved in this event.”
BTECs are by far the most popular and successful vocational qualifications that Edexcel offers, with close to 1.7 million registrations received between 2005/06 and 2007/08. Between these years, Edexcel also saw almost a 60% increase in the annual number of BTEC registrations.
The most substantial area of growth for BTEC is in schools. Between 2005/06 and 2007/08 there has been a 143% increase in the number of schools offering BTEC qualifications, coinciding with a 266% increase in registrations. BTECs can be taken as well as, or in place of, GCSEs and A levels in schools and colleges.
BTECs are work-related qualifications offered in a wide range of sectors including applied sciences, art and design, business, management and services, IT and computing, media, engineering, education and training, public services and security, and many more.
They provide a more practical, real-world approach to learning, alongside a theoretical background. They appeal to many learners because they also allow progression into further and higher education.
Sophie Kelly received a BTEC National Diploma and went on to study a BA honours in Social Care at Goldsmith’s University in London. She chose a BTEC rather than a more traditional route, like A levels because it provided her with hand’s on experience in the industry, gaining 250 hours of work experience and she was still offered a route into university.
“My success shows that you don’t have to do A levels to go to university and I would wholeheartedly recommend the vocational career path to anyone as the hands-on experience is priceless. A VQ is not just a path to more qualifications, but can also be a direct path into a job and even a career."
Between 2005/06 and 2007/08 there was a 36% increase in the number of BTEC Firsts registrations in further education. BTEC Firsts are level 2 qualifications which are the equivalent to traditional GCSE grades A*- C.
For more information about VQ Day, please visit www.vqday.org.
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