Magazine article Teaching Business & Economics

The Future of Vocational Qualifications

Magazine article Teaching Business & Economics

The Future of Vocational Qualifications

Article excerpt

According to ONS data from April 2014, the demise of UK manufacturing over the last sixty years has seen the tertiary sector's share of the economy increase from 46% to nearly 80%. Whether you like it or not, financial services have become the driver of this servicebased domination in the UK. The 2008 Credit Crunch and resulting recession highlighted the importance of the sector to economic growth. The UK may no longer be the world's leading financial centre after New York took the mantle in March of this year, but the UK industry continues to dominate domestically, accounting for around 10% of UK GDP and around 30% of UK exports.

The sector's reputation has obviously taken a bit of a hit since 2008 with its integrity and ethical stance called into question. Financial services will remain a core component of the UK's economic make-up for a long time to come and therefore it's important that the sector is appropriately reformed to address some of the stigmas associated with it. One of the ways we can do this is to recruit the right kind of talent for the future. This is a gap that the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) has been working hard to fill.

With the principles of integrity, professionalism and excellence, the CISI represents a beacon of hope in the sector as the main professional body within securities and investment. Not only do they provide their 40,000 global members with the qualifications and professional development to perform in their roles at the highest level but they have also been focusing on identifying and developing future talent. The Institute has been working with schools and colleges in the UK since 2007 and has more recently expanded its reach to parts of Asia. Their vocational qualifications aimed at 16-19 year olds are the first rung on the ladder towards a career in financial services.

Vocational qualifications have gained a somewhat undesirable reputation over time, from the label of "No Value Qualifications", lacking academic rigour, to their use in boosting performance data for the perceived lower ability students. Somewhere along the line, their core purpose has become lost amongst the ever increasing bureaucracy clouding education. This has not been beneficial for the students taking them or for the individuals delivering them. …

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