Vocational Training So Important

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Byline: JAMES RAMSBOTHAM

IT has been a big week for youngsters across the region - one that could play a significant role in shaping their futures.

Hopefully it will have been a time of joy in most households, although inevitably a few tears of sadness will have been shed as A-level and GCSE grades fall just short of the mark.

As I write this column, I have yet to see how our GCSE students faired this year, but it is fair to say that I'm sure they will be as every bit impressive as those recorded by the A-level students last week.

The overall pass rate has continued to rise and stands at 98%. Entries for STEM subjects also increased 3.1% on last year, and many businesses will welcome this with many firms considering good qualifications in sciences, technology and maths tend as more desirable.

While university quite rightly represents a progression route for over half of A-level students, the importance of vocational pathways must be recognised within careers guidance provision.

Vocational training and employment opportunities need to be promoted alongside university to ensure that young people are fully aware of all their progression options when leaving school. …