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Stackyard News May 2010

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Countdown to New Qualifications for Colleges

With just four months to go before new qualifications in the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) are introduced to colleges, Lantra Sector Skills Council reports on the good progress being made in its work with awarding organisations and land-based training providers to ensure QCF is a real success.

Twelve months so far in the making and it’s already clear that the new Qualifications and Credit Framework is proving to be a breakthrough in the way the skills of individuals in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are recognised and accredited. QCF allows people to ‘pick and mix’ what units of learning they choose to build up their qualification. Lantra has been working with City & Guilds NPTC, Edexcel and Landex since September 2009 to get the qualifications ready for the new framework.

Michael Smith, Lantra’s Director of Policy, Research and Development was keen to expand on the Sector Skills Council’s enthusiasm for the new qualifications. “This has been a particularly exciting project for Lantra as it’s given us the opportunity to bring representatives from industry together with awarding organisations and training providers to produce these new QCF units and qualifications.”

This development has given industry the opportunity to directly influence these new qualifications and ensure they provide the best mix of knowledge and application of skills required.

Kew horticulturist, Martin Staniforth

Kew horticulturist, Martin Staniforth

Martin Staniforth, Practical Training Co-ordinator at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, who has been involved with the project commented, “What’s encouraging about the QCF is that it allows qualifications to be accessible for all types of learner.

“You can compare different qualifications offered by different awarding organisations and it allows learners to access bite-sized and larger qualifications, to provide a more rounded learning and understanding of industry.”

Martin continued, “The QCF is trying to make what could be a complicated and often confusing qualification landscape a lot simpler. And industry benefits through our Sector Skills Council Lantra, getting a chance to have its say and influence the qualifications system.”

As September approaches, when the new QCF range of qualifications will replace the current Centre-based Qualifications offered by City & Guilds NPTC and Edexcel, Lantra’s Michael Smith concluded, “We’re convinced the new qualifications will prove to be a really positive step for learners and businesses, helping them fulfil their training needs and ensuring the recognition of a highly skilled workforce.

“Lantra’s research shows that training not only boosts staff motivation but also confidence and loyalty and so the more employers that invest in skills development, the better. We look forward to seeing these new qualifications being delivered in colleges in September.”

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