Vocational Courses are in high demand

    July 19th 2010, 9:26am - Posted by Administrator

  • They say change is the only constant thing in life, and the ongoing recession has made it more obvious. According to a report, a great number of students choosing vocational courses over traditional degree courses in UK and the number is already record high compare to previous decades.

    Figures show last year over four million students were awarded vocational qualifications, raising the students’ number 11 percent in last 12 months. Subjects like travel and tourism, leisure, engineering, manufacturing, construction and business saw the biggest rise in their demand. As a soaring number of young people find it difficult to enter universities due to surge in applications, around 160,000 people opted out on traditional degrees last year and the numbers are expected to rise.

    These figures denote that economic downturn has enabled young people overlook the traditional low view on vocational and technical courses. The Chairman of the Charity Edge, which promotes vocational courses, Lord Baker says that traditional snobbery around technical and practical courses is diminishing as more and more young people are choosing qualifications directly leading to a job. He said “There is a massive national shortage of technicians and if we are going to build the nuclear power stations, high-speed rail networks, Crossrail, new housing programs and broadband links we are going to need many more of them.

    “Industry wants more skilled employees and it is encouraging to see so many young people down doing this route, but there is still room for improvement.”

    The data shows that students who took practical maths and science courses climbed the number by 33 percent. The courses like Leisure, travel and tourism increased by 24 percent. While construction was higher by 22 per cent and engineering and manufacturing displayed 21 percent growth in demand. The data ranged qualifications including apprenticeships, City and Guilds and BTecs. It was observed in the study that higher-level practical courses were on rise and foundation courses were growing their demand in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  The data released by Edge to mark VQ Day, also demonstrated that two years degree programs have been well supported by the Government to offer them as a cheaper and faster option compare to traditional three year undergraduate programs.

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