National and vocational qualifications are not marketed in the right way

When will the Department of Trade and Industry and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) stop referring to ‘free training’ when marketing national and vocational qualifications (NVQs)?


This ‘free training’ is also still predominantly only available to people aged under 25, but this may change of course under the new age discrimination legislation.


And anyway, NVQs are not free they are funded by tax from businesses – or what’s left after five layers of quangos have taken their cut. Nor are they training they are a certification process for competency, which may or may not relate to recent training. Prior to the LSC and its predecessor (Training and Enterprise Councils) and other rebranding exercises, employers could benefit from tax incentives if they could demonstrate ‘real’ training had been delivered to their workforce. This would be a huge bonus to all businesses across the UK.


There is of course extra pressure on HR and training professionals right now, thanks to the Leitch Review recommendations. We all have to find a way of meeting the skills agenda by committing to training our staff to reach certain standards, or we risk being forced to do so by the heavy hand of the law.


So in relation to NVQs, we want to be helped, not misled.




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