feature-itemJune 5th was national VQ Day when the education sector celebrated vocational qualification.

There has been growing recognition of the importance of technical skills in science and engineering.  In York we have the National STEM Centre (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) which is home to the UK’s largest collection of STEM teaching and learning resources, in order to provide teachers of STEM subjects with the
ability to access a wide range of high-quality support materials.

Technical staff are employed in a wide range of industrial settings and the importance of vocational training has been recognised by the Science Council with the setting up of Professional Registers which confer recognition, status and transferability of skills learnt.

For this reason I was pleased to hear that VQ Day was also the day when Labour pledged to expand training in IT and engineering.
Stephen Twigg, the shadow education secretary has announced that labour would boost the status of technical and vocational training in England by accrediting a string of “national centres of excellence” in key sectors such as engineering and IT. The aim would be to raise the quality and profile of the country’s premier further education colleges to that of the leading universities and their prestigious counterparts overseas. These colleges are responsible for training and educating a majority of the UK’s young adults once they have left school and should be places where students aspire to go to.

In an article in Tuesday’s Guardian Martin Doel, chief executive of the Association of Colleges which represents specialist and further education colleges, said: “This proposal will give some welcome measure of recognition of the exemplary skills provision already on offer in colleges and we appreciate the attention being given in the Labour party’s policy development work to the vital role that colleges and vocational training play in increasing both individual and national prosperity. We look forward to working with Stephen Twigg as he further develops this concept.”

read the article in full at Guardian Education

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