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Vocational training 'is often better than academic qualifications'

schedule 24th December 2011 by Virtual College in Virtual College

Online courses could help adults and those looking for work to build on their skills suitable to a particular job. One expert has suggested that vocational training could better prepare a person looking to get into employment than the previously favoured academic qualifications. A representative from Quest Professional, which offers a variety of professional training programmes, said skills that prepare a jobseeker for a specific field of work could make their chances of landing a job more promising. Jo Barnard, director at the company, which aims to help those who have recently left education, said: "We have a responsibility to ensure that we give young people practical training and are honest with them, in terms of what employers are looking for." She added that currently, ideas surrounding education are mainly focused on gaining academic training in subjects such as history and English, whereas vocational, hands-on qualifications would make an individual more ready to start a position in the relevant field of work without the need for intensive initial training. "I think for employers, really looking for young people to have the right attitude [is important]. [They should] have a good appreciation of being able to take responsibility, work independently if necessary [and] contribute [to the workplace]," Ms Barnard added. Students leaving higher education and those who have been out of a job for a while do often find work, according to the expert, but this is often backed up by work experience and internships, further highlighting the need for practical experience. The government recently released its Review of Vocational Education - The Wolf Report, which showed that there are currently around 2.5 million young people aged 14 to 19 in full or part-time education. Jonathan Swan, research and policy manager at Working Families, the UK's leading work-life balance organisation, also commented that flexible online training programs in the workplace will allow companies to attract the best staff. He said that those looking for a job will often favour employers who provide on-site training at the beginning of a job and that such opportunities will continue throughout the role.
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