Monday, 28 January 2008

Let's have more McQualifications

The patronising sneer that greeted news that qualifications awarded by McDonalds, Flybe and Network Rail are to be treated on a par with those developed by the exam boards illustrates all that is wrong with the British attitude to qualifications. It is far better to have good vocational qualifications developed by successful businesses than exam boards; and it is right that the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority should do all it can to ensure that those who achieve them can use them when they move to other companies. The problem with vocational qualifications has been their divorce from the needs of business; and the problem with the regular complants from the CBI and others about the readiness of young people for the world of work has been the unwillingness of business to engage with the education and training curriculum. This approach solves both problems at a stroke. With plans for compulsory training until 18, including for the 15% of young people in work without 'recognised training', there will need to be many more such qualifications accredited. And that is a good thing - for young people and business.

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