BTECs, CACHE, NVQ, C&G
What is vocational education?
Vocational courses have been developed in partnership with awarding bodies and employers in order to ensure that students learn the skills that are relevant for their industry. They are work-related courses, designed to take a practical approach to learning and are an excellent choice if you already have a particular career path in mind. They are also particularly suited to students who prefer the practical side of learning, rather than sitting in a classroom and studying predominantly for exams. However, most courses have an exam element to ensure they maintain their academic rigour.
They are nationally recognised and are highly respected by employers and universities. Vocational qualifications help students develop real-world knowledge, experience and skills. In these competitive times, having practical experience behind you can give you the edge in your job search.
When you reach the end of your GCSEs you will have different educational options open to you. Staying on at school and studying A Levels is a great way of continuing in an academic classroom setting, however, vocational courses have many benefits and could be the right option for you. Below are the key benefits of studying a vocational course:
- Hands-on Approach - If you know what industry you would like to go into e.g. Construction or Hair & Beauty, you will be taking part in practical lessons and when you finish your course you will be ready to go straight into employment.
- Increased Employability - You will develop skills and knowledge that employers want increasing the likelihood of finding a job. You will also take part in compulsory work experience which is a great added bonus for your CV.
- A Route to University - Alongside A Levels they are the most widely-recognised qualification for admission to higher education. For example, a two year BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma is the equivalent to studying three A Levels; units are graded as Pass, Merit, Distinction or Distinction* so a Triple Distinction* (D*D*D*) carries identical UCAS points as three A*s at A Level.
- Develop Transferable Skills - Many vocational qualifications are set up to enable participants to develop transferable skills in people management, team-work and time-keeping which are beneficial to many other careers.
- Demonstrate Practical Skills - Vocational qualifications offer important means for demonstrating practical knowledge of theoretical ideas e.g. knowing and understanding the theory of Health and Safety procedures in the events industry is one thing, but being able to apply this to a real life event is a great skill to have.