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Stackyard News Feb 2012

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Vocational Qualifications for Learners and Industry

Lantra is responsible for defining the content of vocational qualifications for the land-based sector. This includes the Fish Husbandry and Horse Care qualifications which were highlighted in recent BBC reports on vocational qualifications no longer to be recognised in school performance tables.

Vocational Qualifications are Vital to Land-based and Environmental Industries

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Lantra agrees with the broad recommendations of Professor Alison Wolf’s report which stressed the importance of offering only high quality vocational education to young people. We have for a long time advocated that National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) and those qualifications which have been specifically designed to provide skills development and occupational competence in the workforce are not appropriate for 14-16 year olds and have sought to have these qualifications removed from the approved list.

Lantra firmly believes however that high quality vocational learning is essential, complementing general education and enabling schools to provide a broad curriculum which meets the needs of individual learners. Vocational subjects do provide a context for learning key subjects such as English and Maths which supports young people develop essential skills. They also are a high quality addition to the curriculum and support progression into further vocational and higher education as well into as Apprenticeships.

Lantra and land-based businesses are keen to ensure that the 14-19 education system in England equips young people not only with a broad range of education and skills essential for the world of work but that it also provides opportunities for young people to contextualise their learning and gain experience within the sector, helping them in the longer term to make their further education and career choices.

Lantra is pleased to see that the Principal Learning from the Diploma in Environmental and Land-based Studies still features on the approved list. This was a joint development between employers and learning providers resulting in a challenging curriculum which combines academic rigour with vocational skills and experience that employers look for in tomorrow’s workforce. We would now like to see this qualification more actively promoted by DfE, schools and career advisers as a valued alternative to GCSEs.

The sector is bitterly disappointed to find that many other high quality land-based vocational qualifications are not to be included on the list of qualifications which contribute to the schools’ performance tables and urge that theses are reintroduced at the earliest opportunity.

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