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Call to Rid Vocational Skills of ‘Second Best’ Image


UKSkills is calling on the Government to consider national vocational skills competitions for 14-19 year olds as part of its review of Mike Tomlinson's report.

Speaking last night at the UK National Training Awards ceremony at London's Guildhall, Dr Graeme Hall, Acting CEO of UK Skills, said that the awards had shown how skills events could drive development within the workplace.

"We should now consider applying the same principle to vocational education. At a basic level, it could mean school skills days, on a par with the traditional sports day. At the other end of the scale, it could mean a national skills league for schools," he said.

The Government is due to publish a White Paper early in the New Year in response to the Final Report of the Working Group on 14-19 Reform, chaired by Mike Tomlinson. Vocational education is expected to figure prominently in the White Paper.

Dr Hall said that an awards event would help rid vocational training of its image as the 'poor relation' to academic study.

"We need to rid vocational education of its image as 'second best'," he said. "Every young person should have the chance to show off his or her skills. Skills events are just one way to encourage them to attain excellence in their chosen field, by showcasing and winning recognition for their achievements on a local or national stage."

The National Training Awards, which are run by UK Skills on behalf of the Department for Education and Skills, reward training and personal development.

This year's NTA Special Winners:
* ThomasWolsey School, Suffolk
* Shapers Hair, Health & Beauty, Nottingham
* Maytree Nursery School and Lambeth Educational Psychology Service, London
* Age Care (Awards), London
* National Grid Transco
* Sabre Employment Ltd, Deptford, London
* The Integrated Support Services, Croydon
* Solas Scotland, Dumbarton
* Oakwood Builders & Joinery Ltd, Benson,Wallingford
* Nortec Training Ltd, Banbury, Oxon
* Avon & Somerset Probation Service, Weston Super Mare,Somerset
* Airbus UK and Deeside College, Flintshire
* Learn Direct, Nuneaton,Warwickshire
* Jobcentre Plus and Energy & Utility Skills, Sheffield
* Sheffield South West Primary Care Trust


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