VOCATIONAL COURSES LEAD TO BETTER LIFE CHANCES
qualifications make a big difference to career prospects. That's the
message from a survey by YouGov, released ahead of the 1st national
celebration of vocational qualifications on 23 July.
Compared with people who have degrees, holders of vocational
o Half as likely to spend a long time looking for work.
o 23% more likely to feel ready to work from day 1.
But it's not a case of either a degree or a vocational
qualification. 35% of people with degrees told YouGov that they had
later gone on to achieve a vocational qualification as well. The research also highlights the benefits to those who have taken a
vocational qualification as adults:-
o 26% who took a vocational qualification received a pay rise as a
direct result of their qualification, double the 13% who received an
increase following an academic qualification.
o 22% report being
more interested in their work, compared to 16% of those returning to
o 21% report their
employer paid more attention to their career, compared to 11%.
o 17% achieved a
promotion after gaining a vocational qualification, compared to 12%
of those who returned to the academic route.
In figures which show the extent of business investment in staff,
47% of respondents reported their employer paid for the whole
vocational course, while 23% paid for their course themselves and
19% took a course which was publicly funded. What's more, most
adults support vocational qualifications. 57% of would encourage
young people to take a vocational qualification.
In order to celebrate the achievements of people who have
successfully gained vocational qualifications, the 1st ever VQ Day
will be held on 23 July 2008. It will be the 1st nationwide
celebration of vocational success. The Day will see the publication
of a report into the vocational qualifications landscape as well as
a national event in London and regional events held by colleges and
learning providers around the country.
Andy Powell, CEO of Edge, 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.
Every year millions of people across the country study for and gain
a vocational qualification, leading to further vocational study or
university, better jobs and enhanced skills. It amazes me that
despite these clear benefits, vocational qualifications still do not
enjoy the prestige of their more academic counterparts. The launch
of VQ Day is just one step in starting to put this right.”
Susan Anderson, Director of Human Resources Policy at the CBI said:-
“Employers value high-quality vocational qualifications as a
route to employment and it is essential that young people in
particular receive clear advice on both the academic and vocational
options available to them. Vocational qualifications provide the
practical knowledge required for success at work and will often be
delivered in a ‘hands on’ manner in the workplace.
Apprenticeships, Diplomas and other vocational qualifications have
an important role to play in preparing young people for the world of
work, alongside GCSEs and A-levels.”
Plans for VQ Day are being led by education foundation, Edge, and
receive cross-party support. They are supported by the wider
education community including exam boards, employers’ organisations,
the Association of Colleges and the Association of Learning
Providers. An action pack is also available for colleges and
learning providers to download from
in order for them to hold their own VQ Day celebrations.
Thrive is helping to beat the blues through gardening
help boost emotional wellbeing by providing the ‘feel-good’
factor, according to a new leaflet published by Thrive, the charity
which promotes the advantages of gardening for people with a
disability. Thrive has produced the free guide to show how
developing green fingers can restore balance to mind, body and soul.
The leaflet, which has been developed with the assistance of
mental-health charity Mind, is called, ‘Harnessing the
mood-boosting power of gardening’. Aimed at people who may be
going through a difficult period in their lives or experiencing
stress, anxiety or depression, the guide offers top tips and ideas
on how to use gardening to feel happier, healthier and more
Gardening is known to have health benefits. Thrive research has
found that 31% of disabled people believe that gardening has ongoing
health benefits, and 19% report that it has helped them through a
period of mental or physical ill health.
It gets you out of the house and into the fresh air
It’s great physical exercise
You can work at your own pace
You can learn new skills
You can explore your creativity
You can join a gardening club and meet new people
You can gain a sense of achievement
It can bring a new structure to your life
It can bring back positive memories
Gardening is fun – whether it’s a window box, flowerbed, allotment
or your garden!
The leaflet includes information on which types of plants are useful
to start with, and offers advice on how one can become involved in
community gardening projects, with ideas on how to become a little
greener and a little healthier through gardening.
Nicola Carruthers, Chief Executive of Thrive, says:-
”Gardening is a great form of exercise – it can boost endorphin
levels and boost our mood – yet many people are unaware of this, and
the many other benefits gardening can bring.”
To obtain a free copy of the leaflet please contact Thrive on 0118
988 5888, by
email or write to
Thrive, The Geoffrey Udall Centre, Beech Hill, Reading, RG7 2AT.
RING IN A SECOND CHANCE FOR YOUNG AND OLD
take your old mobile phone to be recycled at any Morrisons store
throughout the North West region and help raise money for Help the
Aged and ChildLine.
The new national recycling initiative is expected to generate
£100,000 for Morrisons' charity of the year partnership. For every
working mobile phone donated, a donation of £5 will be made -
regardless of how old the phone is.
A spokesperson for Morrisons said:- "Recycling old mobile
phones is a free and easy way for our customers and staff to get
involved and help raise money. It also means people can go green and
recycle more at the same time. So, if you have an old phone lying
around, please bring it down to Morrisons and donate it today. By
supporting this scheme you will be helping to raise funds to for 2
very worthwhile charities supporting younger and older people."
Customers can recycle their old mobile phones using envelopes
provided by Morrisons. The freepost phone recycling bags can be
picked up from dispenser boxes at the supermarket's Customer Service
and cigarette kiosks, plus petrol station payment counters.
The unique new partnership between Morrisons, ChildLine and Help the
Aged joins two of the UK's leading charities with the fourth largest
retailer and aims to raise vital funds to help combat abuse and
neglect among two of the most vulnerable groups in society; children
and older people.