It’s time to focus on vocational skills

GCSE league tables were recently described as useless by the Independent Schools Council in the press, as it objects to the increased emphasis on vocational qualifications.

We must recognise that vocational skills are vital to the success of our economy and we cannot afford to continue to treat them as the poor relation of academic disciplines.

People 1st, licensed by the Government to ensure that training and qualifications are driven by employer needs, has conducted research which shows that nearly half of the employers in the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism sectors believe recruiting good people is their primary challenge. But 85 per cent do not believe the school system adequately prepares people for work.

Vocational learning must be a part of the way schools are judged. The success of the UK’s economy depends on vocational and academic skills.

Too few children get the opportunity to start on a vocational path at school and the result is severe skills shortages across crucial sectors.

Phil Raynsford
Director of policy, research and development
People 1st

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